Prague has kicked off a concerted campaign to reinstate the city in the top 10 of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings.
A dedicated €354,000 campaign focusing on meetings, conferences and events will include a focus on better data collection, the launch of a new Meeting Planners' Guide, plus press and familiarisation trips in a bid to improve the city’s ICCA ranking, which has dropped dramatically, from 8th in 2008 with 104 meetings, to 19th in 2010 with 85 meetings.
Prague Convention Bureau director Lenka Zlebkova said: “We are not happy about it and we want to change it.”
Zlebkova said other competitor cities such as Vienna, Berlin, Budapest and Barcelona had been ‘faster’ to win business, while other factors in the city’s decline in the rankings included a lack of promotion of the city for business events due to its strong leisure draw; problems with collecting and supplying the correct statistics; plus lack of information from hotels about smaller meetings, meaning these were not represented in the city’s data.
Prague Tourist Board is also supporting the meetings and events focus for the first time, while earlier this year Prague City Council made the step of offering incentive support for congress organisers, providing free public transport for congresses of more than two nights with more than 500 participants and a minimum 20 per cent international delegation.
Zlebkova said the city was targeting 22,000 association visitors in the period from 2011/13 and 16,000 corporate meeting attendees, with key markets including Germany, the UK, France/Benelux and the USA. "Until now, the city of Prague and other entities used a number of disparate materials, images and slogans for promotion of Prague in their target markets, and we need to change that."