Milan launches its official convention bureau

Published on : Wednesday, December 16, 2020

In a year marked by the pandemic, the Municipality of Milan today launched an official Convention Bureau for the city, responding to the need to support the relaunching of business tourism and answering a longtime need of national and international operators.

Convention Bureaus are tools of primary importance for all those which aim to host so-called MICE events (acronym for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions). A Convention Bureau’s mission is twofold: i) promoting the metropolitan location as prime destination for those who organize and take part in business events, congresses, company meetings, incentive trips, civic and academic conventions, and institutional events with a strong international appeal; ii) support to the entire supply chain for the production of MICE events.

After reaching a high in 2019 with over 8 million nights spent in hotel accommodation by international visitors coming to Milan, business tourism is expected to decline by 26% in 2021 and 11% in 2022 (source: Oxford Economics, 2020), so that promotion of the territory becomes central to coordinating the efforts of all actors, guiding strategic choices and offering integrated services for city access. This new endeavor also provides an opportunity to further the position of Milan as a sustainable tourism option, and boost the economy by attracting visitors with high spending capacity to the city.

The creation of the Convention Bureau aims to speed the recovery of the business tourism market by working across areas and sectors, so that the city as a whole is able to respond quickly to business tourists and provide them with a full range of services.

Milano&Partners, the promotion agency of the City of Milan, in its first year of activity has gotten interest and support from the most important local players in the tourist industry, such as SEA (Milan Airports Authority) and the Fondazione Fiera Milano, around its task of relaunching Milan metro area’s world attractiveness via the brand Yesmilano. The YesMilano Convention Bureau was born out of the decision to build an institutional tool that provides a unique gateway to the city. In particular, Fiera Milano Congressi has merged its experienced Eventing structure with Milano&Partners, to flesh out the strong intention expressed by associates to further promote the city abroad.

Milan is looking forward to hosting major events that will put the city under the global spotlight in coming years, like the Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics. In July 2021, it will host the Congress of the European Association of Urology (EAU), and the Congress of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESM) in 2022. Since Expo 2015, the city has repeatedly shown its talents for hosting large-scale international events that have left a positive mark in collective memory, from the Champions League Final in 2016 to the Lions Clubs International Convention in 2019, from the ATP Next Gen tennis tournament in 2019 to medical and scientific congresses, such as the one of the European Respiratory Society (ERS). The economic impact of each business visitor on the Milan metro area is calculated as €346 per day of stay (source: ASERI, 2020). The new Convention Bureau will play an important role in attracting future events to Milan and ensuring their success.

With the tourism and events industry in full restructuring at the global level, Milan aims to consolidate its position in Europe as principal gateway to Italian lifestyle, while promoting a distinctive vision for sustainable and inclusive urban development. By 2023, the goal is to bring Milan into the Top 10 of the ICCA rankings, which lists the best cities for hosting MICE events around the world. A further factor in determining the dynamics of the MICE sector is the exponential growth of digital events, which is bound to remain significant in terms of market share. Also in this respect, Milan has been laying the foundations to  become a vanguard city for digital innovation at the forefront of European recovery, from early investments in the development of 5G to fiber optic networks covering the whole city.

Milano&Partners, the promotion agency of the City of Milan, is a joint venture of the Municipality of Milan and the Milan Chamber of Commerce together with SEA, Fondazione Fiera Milano, ATM, Pirelli, TIM, Borsa Italiana, Confcommercio Milano, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento.

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