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Rising popularity for Norway as congress destination

- Strong academic communities, a highly skilled meeting and travel industry, and effective international profiling. This combination contributes to Norway’s rising popularity as host for a wide range of events, including congresses, says Frode Aasheim, Head of Congress, meetings and events at Visit Norway.

According to the International Meetings Statistics Report 2018, published by the Union of International Associations (UIA), Norway registered 196 UIA-approved congresses last year.  

In order to be approved as congress by UIA, the event need at least fifty participants, is internationally orientated, and have participants stay at least one night. The congresses often rotate to different destinations making it attractive for destinations to bid for the congress in competition with the rest of the world. 

The high number of approved congresses gave Norway a better ranking in the UIA-report than the year before, rising six spots from 22 in 2017 to 16 in 2018.  It is the best result for Norway, since the record year of 2012. 

- We work hard globally to present Norway as an attractive destination for events of all sizes. The feedback we often get is that Norway as host of larger events, such as congresses, offer good quality and exotic destinations. Norway’s reputation is very good, and one we are eager to take good care of. There are good income opportunities for Norwegian businesses when congresses are hosted in our country, says Aasheim. 

Norway and Oslo break records in 2019 

The UIA-ranking approved 20 more congresses in Oslo in 2018, than the year before. However, the international ranking remained unchanged. The cities of Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger each hosted two more UIA-approved congresses, compared to 2017. Tromsø made a big leap with seven more congresses in 2018. 

- We are immensely proud of how Oslo has achieved to maintain its position as an attractive congress host city. The competition for international big events and congresses is tough, and there are so much hard work and patience that goes into every congress that Oslo has won. A close cooperation between the city’s strong academic communities, the tourism industry and VisitOSLO is crucial for Oslo’s success in the future, says Annie Kristi Korsmo, Head of congress and events at VisitOSLO.  

In spring 2019, Oslo hosted a congress that beat all previous records in Norway. The EAN Congress had 7000 registered participants, and the estimated value was more than 10 million Euros, for business related to the city’s tourism industry. 

Norway ranks high on per capita statistics 

The country that hosted the most congresses in 2018 was Singapore. Followed by South Korea and Belgium. USA is number four and Japan, Austria, France, Spain, UK and Germany also made it to the top of the list. 

In 2018, UIA also made a report about congresses per capita. Norway comes sixth on this ranking.  

The ranking for host cities lists Oslo as number 22 in the world per capita, and Trondheim comes 24 and Tromsø 26. 

Frode Aasheim

Avdelingsleder B2B Reiseliv, Innovasjon Norge

+47 928 33 852

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