Economy & Politics

Luxembourg seizes the opportunity of the “business event”

The European Convention Center in Kirchberg will host, from November 1 to 3, the 59th Congress of the International Convention and Congress Association (Icca). The opportunity for professionals in the sector to place the country even more at the heart of the business tourism map.

Anne-Sophie de Nanteuil

The European Convention Center in Kirchberg will host, from November 1 to 3, the 59th Congress of the International Convention and Congress Association (Icca). The opportunity for professionals in the sector to place the country even more at the heart of the business tourism map.

While the health crisis has brought the events sector to a halt, Luxembourg is not forgetting its ambition to become a leading destination for the organization of business events. At the end of September, the country was thus chosen to be the regional European center of the 59th Congress of the International Convention and Congress Association (Icca). A “great opportunity” for the country, enthuses Lex Delles (DP), Minister of Tourism, just four months after the recovery of the sector.

The event, which will take place from November 1 to 3 in Kirchberg, will thus contribute “to Luxembourg’s reputation as a business tourism destination throughout the world”, he explains. But the government does not intend to stop there. He intends to “economically develop the country” through the event sector.


Pano, Luxexpo The Box, Salon des Douceurs, Backkrusus mit Yves Jehanne, von der Vereinigung "Les Sucrés du Lux" Foto: Guy Jallay / Luxemburger Wort

Help from the State for this sector particularly affected by the health crisis has finally arrived. This is confirmed by both the Ministry of Labor and the Luxembourg Event Association (LEA).


Because the sector wants to be lucrative. According to the government, it would thus generate economic spinoffs in hotels, restaurants and small businesses which are on average three times higher than for leisure travelers.

According to Serges Wilmes (CSV), first alderman of the City of Luxembourg, the ICCA would therefore only be a “gateway” to many other events. “As a capital on a human scale, cosmopolitan and located in the heart of Europe”, the City has indeed “all the assets to make professional events a success and a pleasant experience rich in discoveries”, argues the elected.

The capital also has both reception facilities for fairs, exhibitions and other congresses, but also up to date hotel capacities with no less than 4,000 rooms. The proximity of Findel airport, like that of Luxembourg train station, broadens the possibilities for receiving visitors from abroad.


MICE

From July 24, professional events (trade fairs, conferences, team-building) will again be possible. In order for Luxembourg to regain its appeal to customers, and for professionals to resume their activity, the Ministry of Tourism is mobilizing the various partners.


But if the event sector is restarting on the hats of wheels with a world-class event, this recovery is not without adaptations. For this edition, the ICCA was indeed forced to reinvent itself and opted for a “hybrid” organization. In other words, visitors will have the opportunity to participate virtually or face-to-face. “A first”, underlines François Lafont, CEO of Luxembourg Convention Bureau GIE.

During the congress, health and safety measures will also be at the heart of the concerns. “Each place, hotel and service provider will follow the ” Safe to Meet ” rules that have been put in place by the Luxembourg Event Association (LEA),” says François Lafont. An external company will ensure proper compliance with the protocols.


François Lafont, CEO of the Luxembourg Convention Bureau, anticipates important changes for the business tourism industry. If the organization of events is possible today, the big problem remains according to him “the restrictions imposed on travelers”.


The program, unveiled on Wednesday, had to be put together in record time. “112 days”, specifies François Lafont. This one will particularly endeavor to draw the outlines of “the events of the future”. And the CEO of Luxembourg Convention Bureau GIE assured him, the success was immediate.

Luxembourg will thus be able to boast of an “exceptional platform” of speakers. Among them, Nick Dugdale Moore (vice-president of the Union des foires internationales), Didier Scaillet (director of the Events Industry Council) and Matthias Schultze (CEO of the German Convention Bureau).

As a reminder, the government intends to hoist the Grand Duchy into the top 50 global destinations hosting international business events. With the ambition, ultimately, to make it a benchmark destination in Europe in terms of innovation and creativity in this sector.


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