Spain is an extremely popular destination for international conferences, and data from the the 2012 International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) reflects continued strength.

Last year, 550 international conventions were held in Spain, and Madrid and Barcelona were top cities.

In fact, ICCA ranked Madrid as #4 and Barcelona as #5 on its list of 2,000 international cities for conventions from around the world.

Madrid hosted 164 international events and Barcelona hosted 154 international events, both being part of a short list of seven cities to host more than 150 meetings in 2012.

“The city of Madrid is one of the favorite international capitals when it comes to the organization of events and conferences, as attested by the ICCA, which ranks it among the ten most important capitals worldwide in the world in this regard (Madrid recently rose to fourth place in in ICCA rankings),” says Jorge Rubio Navarro, consul for tourism affairs and director at the Tourist Office of Spain in Chicago.

“Madrid is a city completely equipped for hosting conventions and trade shows of all kind, situating itself among the most attractive locations for business tourism, on a European as well as a worldwide scale,” Rubio Navarro added.

Other important congresses and news for Madrid include the following:

  • The ESMO 2014 Conference (Medical Oncological Society) will take place in Madrid on the grounds of IFEMA; it is expected to draw 18,000 attendees, making it one of the most important conferences to be held in Madrid.
  • In 2014, Madrid will host the IGLTA 30th Global Convention, for the first time in Europe.
  • Madrid will be the selected location for EuroVegas.
  • In September 2014, a decision will be reached as to whether Madrid becomes 2020 Olympic Host City–which, if confirmed, will convert Madrid into the most important business travel destination in Europe.