Montréal retains title as top city in the Americas for international events

Tourisme Montréal vue de la ville

Montréal is the top host city in the Americas for international events, according to the International Meetings Statistics Report for 2019 just released by the Union of International Associations (UIA). This is the third straight year the city earns the Number One spot. Spurred by the outstanding work of Tourisme Montréal and the Palais des congrès de Montréal — organizing, promoting, hosting — the city welcomed 129 international events in 2019, more than other destinations like New York, Washington, Toronto and Buenos Aires.

2019 Americas Ranking — Union of International Associations

RankingCityNumber of Events
2New York79
5Buenos Aires43

Clearly the dominant destination in Canada, Montréal accounts for 58% of international events held in the three major cities, Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal – an impressive figure that speaks to the city’s drawing power on the global stage.

The 2019 International Meetings Statistics Report takes into account 465,000+ events organized in nearly 11,500 cities by more than 25,000 international organizations. Founded in 1907 by Nobel laureate Henri La Fontaine and Paul Otlet, the UIA has a database of over 70,000 organizations in 300 countries and territories.

Montréal tops other prestigious international ranking

In 2019, Montréal also distinguished itself in the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) annual city rankings, which crowned Montréal Number One in North America by international meetings, for a fourth consecutive year. The ICCA report draws on a database of 12,000+ meetings that rotate between at least three countries.

Initiatives aimed at supporting the city’s excellent reputation

Montréal’s enviable performance in these rankings is based on events held in 2019. In order to nullify the impact COVID-19 may have had on the city’s reputation, various actions have been undertaken by the main players in the tourism sector.

At Tourisme Montréal, work never stopped despite the mandatory shutdown of business events, meetings and conventions since March 2020. The organization keeps in close contact with its partners and key players in the industry in order to foster the adoption of protocols and measures that adhere to the highest international health and safety standards, and that will nurture the imminent recovery of business tourism in Montréal. At the same time, their teams are also actively staying in touch with organizers whose events have been cancelled or who are still seeking a venue, in order to offer them the best possible options and terms.

As for the Palais des congrès, new health measures have been developed and grouped under PROGRESS, the Palais Reopening Operating Guide to Running Events with Safety Standards. Also, new services have been introduced, such as hybrid event turnkey packages and a video and podcast studio, to help customers reinvent themselves so they may reach more participants by tapping into digital opportunities.

Montréal has been enjoying a solid reputation in business tourism for many years, as well as enviable growth in organizing and hosting major events, business meetings and conferences. Were it not for the COVID-19 global pandemic, our city would have continued hosting international events and attaining new levels in 2020. Just like its citizens, Montréal and the members of its business tourism community have been resilient and proactive in the face of the pandemic, so that once we have the green light from the national and international authorities, we may continue building on the momentum the city was experiencing.

Yves Lalumière
Président-directeur général de Tourisme Montréal

As the main venue in Montréal for major events, the Palais is proud to contribute to the city’s ranking among the world’s most sought-after destinations. Once again, the synergy between the various players in the industry, businesspeople, the academic community and our invaluable Ambassadors allowed us to host numerous events, and maintaining this team spirit will matter more ever as we strive to meet the challenges engendered by the pandemic.

Robert Mercure
Président-directeur général du Palais des congrès de Montréal