Events are finally back! But where are they going?

With the start of a new year, we are seeing a large increase in incoming requests. Current data gives us hope that events are surely back! It is key to understand what the most desirable ‘post’-pandemic destinations are, and where do the customers come from. During the months of January and February, Ovation Global DMC has seen a 140% over 150% increase in incoming requests for in-person events. Which destinations are currently in continuous demand, and what elements affect planners when it comes to choosing their event location? The travel industry is constantly changing, but data and insights give us a wealth of information. 


Our analytics are based on global data and market insights from the last two months that show us the current market trends in the industry. Ready, set…..


The top 5 Most Requested Destinations in 2022


Easing travel restrictions and more flexibility are shaping the travel demands in 2022. A desire to reestablish human connections while keeping the health and safety of employees as a priority has been an important factor for planners.  In recent months we´ve seen requests for some of our top destinations in addition to a few unexpected ones! 



1. Portugal



From the southern beach towns along the Algarve to the colorful Palaces in Lisbon and the historical charm in the northern city of Porto, Portugal has become the most requested destination in 2022. Lisbon and Porto were amongst the highly rated cities and areas for meetings and incentive events. Not to mention the nearby archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores which are attracting more and more incentive events year after year. 


2. France



France´s heritage, diverse landscapes, and world-class gastronomy place it at the top of the list as a MICE destination and our second position. From regal Paris to the culinary capital of Lyon, wine country in Bordeaux, or Nice and the coveted French Riviera, France has a number of enticing cities for planners.


3. Switzerland



Third on our list of top most requested destinations is Switzerland. Switzerland is always an enticing destination for planners with its picturesque landscapes, adrenaline-filled activities, and focus on sustainability. Discover the historic old town of Bern, go skiing in the Swiss Alps, or enjoy a boat trip across Lake Geneva. Switzerland is always a strong contender. 



4. Germany & Turkey



Planners love Germany. Quaint towns, Roman baths, and medieval castles meet with dynamic and cutting-edge urban centers. You will encounter 5,000 different brands of beer and 300 different kinds of bread. And if you are planning a trip to Bavaria, the Oktoberfest is a German must. Great cities like Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, and Leipzig are at the top of the list for meetings and conferences. Berlin and Munich both stand out as the preferred destinations for meetings and incentive programs.


Demand for Turkey as a MICE destination has been increasing rapidly over the past years. The country boasts a strong geographical advantage, serving as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East. You´ll find historic old towns, hammams, ancient ruins, and impressive landscapes throughout. The bustling city of Istanbul or the more relaxed coastal Antalya are both sought-after destinations for meetings and incentive programs.



5. Spain



Spain is constantly ranked as one of Europe´s top travel destinations for a reason. The country´s almost year-round sunshine, endless coastlines, Michelin star restaurants, and cultural diversity attract thousands of visitors year after year. Lively cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, and Bilbao are great destinations for meetings and incentive travel. Furthermore, both Madrid and Barcelona are preferred to host meetings and conferences.



Where are the requests coming from? 



With a strong urge to return to previous levels of travel and event planning, we have seen some countries put in more requests than others. Our data indicates that most requests for in-person meetings and events are coming from the USA, UK, Brazil, Italy, and France.


While at the moment it seems that events are finally back, it may still be too soon to tell. We will have to see how the industry and incoming requests play out in the upcoming months.



Do you want to know more about specific destinations? Contact us!




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