The Scandinavian meetings industry suffered a double blow today when two of its capital cities dropped out of the top 10 in the ICCA city rankings report for international association meetings.
Copenhagen dropped nine places to 15th, hosting 92 meetings in 2010 compared to 103 in 2009, while Stockholm fell from seventh to 17th, hosting 89 meetings - 13 fewer than last time.
ICCA stands for the International Congress and Convention Association. Its yearly rankings of countries and cities based on the international association market is one of the most respected in the business.
Vienna topped the organisation's poll for the second year running but Barcelona (2), Paris (3), Berlin (4) and Singapore (5) all closed the gap on the frontrunner which hosted six fewer meetings.
Sydney was the highest climber, leaping from 27th last year to 10th this year, after it increased by more than a third (from 61 to 99) the number of international association meetings it hosted.
The Australian city is on a major drive to increase its business tourism. Business leaders have said the meetings industry will generate around $300 million (£190 million) from now until the end of 2012. More than 60,000 delegates are expected to attend 70 major business events over the next 20 months, covering a range of sectors from medical, science, creative, and financial services. Meanwhile local government officials have pledged to build a new convention and exhibition centre, which could deliver an extra $270 million a year to the economy
Madrid climbed seven places to nab 6th spot, while London rose two places to 14, hosting 97 events, 14 more than in 2009. Cape Town was the highest ranking African city (46) while Boston topped the list of US cities. Canada was well represented with three cities in the top 50.
The US once again topped the country rankings, with 623 meetings. Germany, Spain, the UK, and France make up the top five, in that order, followed by Italy, Japan, China, Brazil and Switzerland.
Pictured: Sydney Convention Centre