Rotterdam shortlisted to host 60th ICCA congress


Rotterdam is one of the cities shortlisted to host the 60th ICCA congress in 2021, as became known this week. The candidacy for the 2021 congress is a result of the joint efforts of the Dutch ICCA members with the support of their international partners. Rotterdam is a congress destination on the rise and internationally renowned for its passion for innovation and its unpolished charms.

The world’s first Floating Farm; a floating park on top of plastic building blocks, made of litter picked out of the river (Recycled Park); the first art depot in the world that will be fully open to the public (Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen): these are only a few of the upcoming, innovative projects and buildings in Rotterdam. In addition, Rotterdam Ahoy will be opening a new, multi-purpose convention centre Rotterdam Ahoy in 2020. The renovation and extension of the Ahoy complex are part of the large-scale qualitative transformation of the Rotterdam south area (Hart van Zuid) with the goal of achieving a new and vibrant city centre. The project aims to make Rotterdam South future-proof by reinforcing the local economy. The initiatives include creating jobs, enhancing the overall well-being of citizens by planting more greenery, redesigning the urban space, and paying special attention to cultural aspects of citymaking as a way to fuel participation, community resilience and citizen strength.

Connecting City

Thanks to its strategic position in Europe, Rotterdam is literally connected to the rest of the world. With a  compact city centre, many business and conference locations, hotels and other facilities are all within walking distance of each other. Connections in Rotterdam arise naturally, maybe exactly because of this close proximity. Rotterdam is full of people, companies, educational institutions that see opportunities and decide to work together to go for it. These go-getters discover new ways to promote an idea, the city, or a field of knowledge. As a result, Rotterdam increasingly hosts large international conferences on such topics as the smart port and logistics (Smart Future Logistics, World Conference Cities and Ports), growth, disease and health among children (Generation R), or the transition to more sustainable forms of energy (Winddays). Smart technologies and applications from Rotterdam entrepreneurs and the knowledge pooled by scientists from Erasmus University and Erasmus University Medical Center come together around these conferences and exhibitions, and new avenues are explored.

It’s no surprise that Rotterdam managed to hold its position as the second congress city of the Netherlands for the eleventh consecutive year, based on the annual statistics released by ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association earlier this month. Rotterdam has managed to improve on its reputation as an international congress destination in recent years. The number of international association congresses that Rotterdam has managed to attract has grown enormously in this time, rising from 11 congresses in 2006 to no less than 31 in 2017. The increasing popularity of Rotterdam as a congress destination is in line with the trend of the city’s increased positive international profile. Moreover, the city is also better equipped to attract larger congresses. For example, the number of hotel rooms has risen in the last few years, and the number of congress venues has also increased. The arrival of the new Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre will offer Rotterdam the opportunity to attract more and bigger congresses in the future.

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