Warsaw and Kraków in Destination Competitive Index 2020

GainingEdge, a specialist consulting firm advising exclusively to the world’s meetings and business events industry, published the third annual Destination Competitive Index on 14 December 2020. Covering international convention destinations, the 2020 edition lists the world’s top 101 cities, which have hosted 87 or more international conventions over the past three years as reported by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA).

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Destination Competitive Index is intended to help destinations understand their competitive position, relations between different competitive factors, as well as to identify areas for improvements in relatively short time. In addition, the report provides quantitative indicators that enable the meetings industry to be understandable to decision makers (governmental bodies or city authorities) and make their proposals on fact-based data.
The assessment is based on the following fundamental factors:

  • infrastructure - conference venue capacity, hotel offer, international accessibility;
  • competitive advantage - local community strengths, costs, destination appeal for leisure and business travellers;  
  • macro indicators - logistics, market size (population), economic strength (GDP), business environment, safety and stability.

Comparing 2019 and 2020 data, GainingEdge’s report assesses the performance of particular destinations compared to the earlier results. In addition, it introduces several lists of top cities in region-based competitive sets, such as:

  1. Top Asian metropolis cities;
  2. Top Western European meeting destinations;
  3. Major cities in South America;
  4. Eastern European major cities - top meeting destinations and capital cities of Eastern European countries;
  5. South-East Europe capital cities.

With a score of 764.1 Paris is again the number one city, followed by Singapore (Asia’s leading destination with a score of 744.9) and New York (top destination in the region of Americas with a score of 715.8). The global rankings include two Polish cities: Warsaw (65th, score of 455.6) and Kraków (68th, score of 437.9). It is worth noting that both metropolises moved up several spots (5 and 4, respectively).

In light of the presented current conditions of organising meetings and events in the international market, the offer of Poland to a large degree matches the expectations of organisers. According to the report by GainingEdge, Moscow, Prague, Budapest and St. Petersburg are the direct competitors of Warsaw and Kraków. While they unquestionably represent formidable competition, we boast multiple strong points, such as central location, high safety and security level (World Economic Forum’s The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index classifies Poland as terrorism-free), affordability, available infrastructure and support guaranteed by Polish convention bureaux. Importantly, the local industry is distinguished by its ability to adapt to changes, place emphasis on advanced technologies, safety, social responsibility and authenticity”, said Aneta Książek, Head of Poland Convention Bureau POT.

Destination Competitive Index also analyses the impact of COVID-19 on 2020 and the years to come. Last but not least, the report’s latest edition spotlights several destinations perceived as “cities to watch” due to their above-average competitive strength.

The report is available for download from the GainingEdge website.

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