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Hamburg increasingly important for conventions and congresses

New survey by the Hamburg Convention Buerau. MICE tourism accounts for 2.3 million overnight stays.

Meetings, incentives, conventions and events (MICE) accounted for one-fifth of overnight stays in Hamburg last year. This is a key result from the latest survey presented by the Hamburg Convention Bureau (HCB). It also showed the the MICE sector generated a total of 9.5 million days (overnight guests and day to day business traveler) and contributed 736 million euro to Hamburg Tourism’s total gross sales. In the international competition, the MICE industry is a key factor of success, with Hamburg being appreciated internationally increasingly.

Reliable data

In order to exploit the potentials of the industry meetings, incentives, conventions and events, detailed knowledge of the market are necessary. However, reliable data on the structure of Hamburg’s MICE had not been available previously. HCB thus conducted the 2014 congress and conference market study Hamburg” in order gather reliable in-depth information on the structure of the market and the sector’s added value.

2.3 million overnight stays due to MICE

The survey conducted by dwif Consulting revealed that 2.3 million overnight stays in Hamburg were related to MICE activities. This corresponds to a fifth (21%) of total tourism nights in Hamburg. One fifth (22%) of these MICE induced nights were generated by participants from abroad. The overnight travellers from the MICE sector (2.3 million nights) accounted for 541.7 million euro in gross sales. This corresponds roughly to three quarters of the total gross sales for Hamburg of the MICE sector. In addition, 7.2 million business day travellers from the MICE segment contributed 194.4 million euro to Hamburg’s gross revenues in tourism. In total, the MICE sector accounts for 736 million euro of annual gross sales.

U.K. strongest source market

The strongest international MICE source markets are the United Kingdom (24%), Scandinavia (19%), the U.S. (10%), and Switzerland (10%). The figures confirm HCB’s activities, which has been very active in the British, the Scandinavian and the Swiss market recently. A positive result is also the ten per cent share of the United States.

When analysing Hamburg’s MICE tourism by industry, the majority of events are held by financial services, medicine & medical technology, IT & communication, chemicals & pharmaceuticals, media & publishing, logistics & transportation. Most events held in the MICE sector are seminars, workshops, conferences and congresses with less than 100 people. “The results of the meetings and conventions market study the huge impact of business events for Hamburg. demonstrate which have economic relevance Business Events for Hamburg. The value added by business travellers who stay in Hamburg amounts to significant 236 euro per day”, comments Thorsten Kausch, Managing Director of Hamburg Convention Bureau and the Hamburg Marketing GmbH,on the study.

To strengthen the MICE industry, HCB will increase activities on attracting multi-day congresses and conventions to Hamburg from all sectors, including culture. Thorsten Kausch: “We will focus on our clusters to enhance Hamburg’s appeal as an attractive location for B2B events even further.”

Source and further details:


As part of the “congress and conference market study Hamburg” both quantitative surveys and in-depth interviews with experts in Germany and Europe were conducted from March to July 2014. The first part of the analysis comprised an online survey, which was implemented with the participation of numerous Hamburg hotels, venues and agencies from the source markets. In a second step, MICE guests were interviewed on site in regard to their expenses incurred during a meeting or congress visit to calculate the economic effects.

About the Hamburg Convention Bureau

The Hamburg Convention Bureau (HCB) is a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Hamburg Marketing GmbH (HCB). Headed by managing director Thorsten Kausch, aims to promote networking in the fields of B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) and to provide support to new events.

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