Leuven jumps from fourth to second place in Belgium in the conference ranking!

Leuven has now taken the second spot after Brussels as the most important congress destination in Belgium according to ICCA's (International Congress and Convention Association) ranking.

This ranking, based on the number of confirmed international congresses per city, places Leuven 43rd worldwide and 34th in Europe by 2022. Leuven thus jumps from fourth to second place in Belgium, after Brussels.

The high ranking is the result of a thorough collaboration between the many experts in the Leuven ecosystem, KU Leuven, City of Leuven and the continuous improvement of the quality it offers to the visitor.

Leuven has seen steady growth as a convention destination since 2018, thanks in part to the creation of the Leuven Convention Bureau, a successful collaboration between KU Leuven and City of Leuven. Since 2019, Leuven rose 55 places in the ranking. Leuven also recovered smoothly after the pandemic, also thanks to a thorough follow-up of deferred activities by Leuven Convention Bureau.

The high position in the ranking confirms Leuven's potential as a congress destination. By establishing the Leuven Convention Bureau, we can anchor this position and ensure that the number of international multi-day congresses continues to rise. International congresses are important for Leuven, both economically and culturally. Congress visitors generally spend more, which is a boost to the local economy. Moreover, congresses provide an opportunity to present Leuven's rich heritage and unique features to visitors. This stimulates tourism and attracts potential repeat visitors. In addition, congresses contribute to strengthening the city's image and reputation, with Leuven increasingly establishing itself as an attractive destination for scientists, researchers and professionals from all over the world.

- Bert Cornillie, alderman of Tourism

International multi-day congresses are an excellent opportunity for KU Leuven and Leuven to raise our profile as a 'hub of knowledge and innovation,' further building the image of the city and the university together with its many partners. Our joint efforts are bearing fruit.

- Prof. Wim Desmet, General Administrator of KU Leuven

Leuven has many assets that make it an excellent convention destination. With its proximity to Brussels, the heart of Europe, Leuven is easily accessible for international participants. In addition, Leuven has a pleasant size, creating an intimate and cozy atmosphere conducive to networking and collaboration. Leuven's strong ecosystem, driven by the world-renowned KU Leuven and a dynamic research community, provides fertile ground for intellectual exchange and innovation during conferences. Participants can enjoy the vibrant ambiance of the city, known for its rich cultural heritage and lively beer culture. This adds a unique and authentic aspect to the congress experience in Leuven.

In the coming years, Leuven intends to further profile itself as an excellent congress destination and international hub in the areas of Health, high-tech, creativity and sustainability.