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Where will event planners organize their next events? To get a sense of where the MICE industry is headed, we asked which countries, regions, or cities would see a strong increase in interest in the coming years. Overall, several key countries and cities in Northern and Southeastern Europe are gaining preference among event planners.
Within Europe, respondents of the survey see especially strong interest in events held in Northern Europe, but not only:
- Scandinavia: Copenhagen, Sweden (both Stockholm and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Visby) for their green, innovative and secure aspects. Iceland and its capital Reykjavik have been also highlighted by events professionals for its adventurous side.
- The Baltic States (particularly Latvia and its capital, Riga). Participants like the idea of exploring destinations that have yet to be "discovered" on a grand scale. "It's relatively rare to travel there," one survey respondent noted, and that is the top reason why the region is gaining traction in the industry.
- Croatia and Montenegro: Mountains or beaches? Metropolitan buzz or secluded enclaves of natural beauty? Montenegro and Croatia don't ask visitors to choose, because they offer it all in one compact destination. Event planners like the countries because of their security, price/performance value, and popularity among clients, who often request that events be held in the Adriatic.
- Greece and the northern city of Thessaloniki: To get away from the crowds of tourists, head north to the archaeologically and culturally rich but still underexplored city of Thessaloniki, where event planners see opportunities for the future.
Looking beyond the continent, event planners also see growing potential in such destinations as Sri Lanka, UAE, and Oman.