The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)2019 statistics report released on Tuesday, May 12, indicates that the City of Kigali ranks in second position after South Africa’s Cape Town.
City of Kigali attained the same position in for 2018 after climbing one position up on the list the year before.
ICCA’s rankings are based on the number of association meetings taking place regularly (annually, biannually), rotating between at least three different countries and with at least 50 participants.
Every year, the association ranks cities and countries following stringent guidelines.
"This is great news and proof that the MICE strategy is generating value for Rwanda," commented Nelly Mukazayire, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Convention Bureau, the national MICE agency.
"We shall continue to identify and work better with our local associations and other stakeholders to help the destination do better in the ICCA rankings in the years to come."
Tourism is the largest foreign exchange earner in Rwanda. With over 10,000 rooms in Kigali and 50,000 square meters of meeting space, MICE contributed 20% of all tourism revenues, amounting to US $56 million and 38,745 delegates, according to RCB; revenues for 2019 were projected to increase to US $88 million.
With the COVID-19 disease outbreak, 20 association meetings previously scheduled between March and April were halted, drawing national income back by US $10 million or 10 percent of estimated revenues in 2020.
Among the major meetings in Rwanda that were disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, include the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which was slated for June but was pushed forward due to the outbreak.
In global city rankings for 2019, Paris came top, followed by Lisbon and Berlin; all the top five cities are European.
In country rankings, USA holds the top spot, remaining the titleholder for the last two decades while the top 20 countries remain unchanged.
ICCA comprises of over 1,100 member companies and organizations in almost 100 countries and territories worldwide.