This year, the Croatian Tourist Board has signed a cooperation agreement for the implementation of a special research project called "Portrait of European Meeting & Convention Travel." Croatia is among seven countries participating in collecting and analysing the latest trends and indicators in the field of business and MICE tourism in Europe. The research report is being developed in collaboration with the IMEX congress market and MMGY Global agency. The results of the first round of research, conducted in May and June, have been released, while the beginning of the second round is scheduled for September this year.
The results of the first round of research indicate that 2023 is an exceptionally good year in terms of international business meetings and conferences, with a significant increase of 38 percent compared to the previous year. The data also show that after the pandemic, in-person meetings are making a strong comeback, while virtual and hybrid meetings are still present but have noticeably decreased in popularity.
Regarding Croatia, our country is among the top 15 European destinations where organizers of business meetings and conferences plan to hold events in the next two years. Croatia is in the select company of the most popular MICE destinations such as Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, Austria, Switzerland, and others, while countries like Poland, Sweden, Hungary, Norway, Finland, and others are positioned behind the top 15 destinations.
"Croatia's participation in this research provides us with a detailed insight into the state and trends of business travel at the European level. We have access to valuable indicators related to meeting formats and the most sought-after places and locations for holding them. This allows us to measure the impact of combining leisure and business travel, which, when combined, significantly contributes to the further development of this segment in terms of its economy, quality, and sustainability," said Kristjan Staničić, director of the Croatian Tourist Board.
A particularly interesting finding from the research is the general impression of the destination, which is considered the most significant factor when choosing a location for hosting a business event. Other important factors include transportation connectivity, distances between locations within the destination, safety, event organization costs, and more.