2023: what a year! From our incredible client event to multiple successful tradeshows, this past year was a testament that our industry continues to strengthen! With 2023 behind us, it’s a good time to reflect and take a look at the destinations that were popular in our global network, as well as the current trends for 2024. Which destinations are in continuous demand, and which ones have emerged as strong contenders for planners? 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 that shape the projection for 2024…Ready, set…..
The Top 5 Most Popular Global Destinations in 2023
2023 was a year of considerable growth and demand for the industry after a few years of uncertainty and instability. Incentives were on the rise and topics such as sustainability and local integration took center stage, influencing the choice of destinations.
From ancient ruins in Rome to the rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy has come in as our #1 most requested destination of 2023. The country’s unique offering makes it a top MICE destination for yet another year. The variety of options in Italy is always enticing for planners. Ranging from the amazing lakes in the north to the picturesque coastal towns in the south, Italy will always be a strong contender.
Portugal’s undeniable charm has captured the hearts of planners this past year. The country’s ability to seamlessly blend modern infrastructure with Old World charm creates an inviting environment, making it an increasingly popular choice for those seeking an immersive and dynamic event destination. Lisbon and Porto stand out as top cities for meetings and conferences, while the Algarve region and islands are preferred incentive programme destinations.
300 days of sun, stunning coastlines, urban cities, vibrant culture, and a rich history await in Spain. Always one of Ovation’s top destinations, planners keep returning to Spain, making it third in the number of requests and operated events for 2023. With great cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Sevilla and diverse archipelagos like the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, Spain has a diverse offering to meet the demands of any programme.
In 2023, Egypt has emerged as a compelling choice, capturing the attention of planners worldwide. Renowned for its rich cultural heritage and ancient history, Egypt offers a unique and inspiring backdrop for events. Its rise as a top MICE destination is a testament to the country’s ability to seamlessly fuse ancient wonders with modern amenities, offering a distinctive and memorable experience.
Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey made the list as one of our most requested destinations in 2023. From the bustling bazaars to the inspiring historical sites, Turkey’s diverse offerings make it stand out. The country seamlessly blends ancient landmarks with modern facilities appealing to a variety of meeting and incentive programmes. Planners love the vibrant capital of Istanbul, the unique landscapes of Cappadocia, and the pristine coastline of Antalya.
The Top 5 Trending Global Destinations in 2024
The year has started strong and the MICE industry is expected to continue growing in the following months. With emerging technology and more emphasis on local cultural immersion, we have seen a few new countries emerging as top choices. Let’s see which destinations are most popular in 2024.
1. South Korea
South Korea has not only been gaining momentum as a tourist destination but it has recently become increasingly popular within the MICE industry. It has emerged as one of our top destinations for 2024, captivating planners with its dynamic blend of modernity and rich cultural heritage. The country’s cutting-edge infrastructure, state-of-the-art convention centers, world-class hotels, and vibrant culture position it as a strong contender in Asia. Cities like Seoul and Busan provide state-of-the-art facilities, ideal for large conferences and conventions.
Bustling cities, pristine beaches, lush vegetation, and a welcoming local culture; Vietnam has it all! With a booming economy and modern infrastructure, cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offer a blend of tradition and progress. An impressive selection of 5-star luxury hotels and resorts along with the country’s political stability further enhance its appeal as a destination for MICE.
With one of the most complex ecosystems on the planet, Panama has been attracting more and more travelers in recent years. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it has a spot on our list of most requested global destinations in 2024. Planners love the country’s abundance of nature and urban activities, its first-class infrastructure, and frequent flight connections between Latin America, the USA, and Europe.
This Pacific paradise has been top of mind for planners in 2024. Fiji’s pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush landscapes work seamlessly to create an ideal setting for meetings and incentives. Explore the rainforests, snorkel in the vibrant coral reefs, or simply relax and take in the beauty of the tropical country. Luxury resorts and state-of-the-art conference facilities enhance Fiji’s appeal, ensuring a seamless blend of business and leisure.
From the bustling metropolis of Bangkok to the northern hills of Chiang Mai and down to the pristine beaches of the Andaman Sea, Thailand’s renowned hospitality welcomes you wherever you go. With its commitment to providing exceptional service, Thailand positions itself as a top-tier destination in 2024. Its world-class hotels and conference venues, coupled with a variety of unique cultural experiences, make it an attractive choice for hosting successful and memorable MICE events.