macauMacao SAR this year greatly improved their ICCA Rankings when they jumped 21 places in global city rankings and up three spots in the Asia Pacific rankings. The ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) Annual Statistics and Rankings which compares destinations’ association conventions performance on a global scale, is one of the most eagerly anticipated meetings industry publications.

In its 2016 report, Macao was acknowledged to have hosted 37 international association meetings which met ICCA’s strict criteria for association meetings that rotate among three countries at least. In the previous year 2015, Macao played host to 27 such meetings.

This is the highest number of international meetings in the last decade, reflecting the hard work put in by the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute - IPIM, the SAR’s lead agency in the promotion and marketing of the destination for business events. “We attribute this great achievement to our close business relationships, working in tandem with the meetings industry supplier community, other government agencies and Macao’s local associations,” said Ms Irene Va Kuan Lau (Executive Director of IPIM).

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According to ICCA’s Destination Comparison Report, Macao’s estimated total number of participants attending these association conventions in 2016 was 25,895, no doubt boosted by its hosting of four association events whose average number of participants were more than 3,000 pax. These included the 11th Worldwide Chinese Life Insurance Congress – WCLIC; ACM Siggraph Asia 2016; 17th International Dragon Award Annual Meeting – IDA; and the 8th World Assembly of Zhuang Yan Clan. The estimated total number of participants is also the highest for Macao in the last decade (2007 to 2016).

“Although Macao is a favourite among meeting organisers of big conventions because of our integrated meetings infrastructure, we also work hard to welcome smaller association conventions as these have the power to transform and boost our knowledge and creativity economy. These smaller academic, scientific, trade or professional meetings take place in our institutions of higher learning – the University of Macau, the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), and the Macao Polytechnic Institute –and also at the Macao Science Centre and at our wide range of hotels,” added Mrs Lau.

Almost 73% of these international meetings are those on an Asia region rotating, signifying that Macao’s biggest conventions market is in its backyard. Conventions which are on a world rotation (i.e. taking place in different destinations around the world) took 10.8% of the share.