What’s New This April

April welcomes a new set of exciting opportunities for the entire MICE industry, especially in our partner cities. From this month onwards, we continue to champion the power of positive impact through business events and other initiatives.

BestCities Monthly Round-Up - April 2024

3rd BestCities Case Study Now Published: World Down Syndrome Congress

Down Syndrome might be the most common chromosomal disorder, but families affected by the condition still need as much support as possible in championing their advocacy. This is something that the World Down Syndrome Congress (WDSC) continues to do to this day.

Considering how it has become a beacon of hope for affected communities all over the world, the WDSC is featured in the 3rd case study BestCities has published. You can read the case study here: https://www.bestcities.net/case-study-world-down-syndrome-congress/

Community Cafe: From Blueprint to Reality – Enacting DE&I in Association Events

The BestCities Community Cafes are a series of free online education sessions under The BestCities Madrid Challenge umbrella. We are happy to announce registration is open for the first in the series to be held on Thursday 11 April, 16:00 – 17:00 CET on Zoom.

This session will be looking at DE&I best practices. Three associations will present an example of how they are incorporating a DE&I lens into their congress or event, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions and be inspired to take the pledge to incorporate one of these ideas into your next event.

During the session you will also have the opportunity to experience Wordly as an example of how you can make your meetings more inclusive.

Click here to register.

Community Cafe April 2024 Banner

Join the BestCities Community at IMEX Frankfurt

IMEX Frankfurt is happening from May 14 to 16, and you’re invited to attend our educational breakfast with our partner cities on the Wednesday the 15th of May.

It’s not too late to sign up as one of BestCities’ hosted buyers! As a hosted buyer, you will enjoy endless networking and learning opportunities and have front-row access to some of the industry’s most trusted suppliers and innovators.

Find more information about and how to register here: https://www.bestcities.net/elevate-your-roi-at-imex-frankfurt-2024-with-bestcities-global-alliance/ 

Or, you can also reach out to Tia ([email protected]) for answers to all of your questions.

Nominations for Incredible Impacts 2024

Applications for this year’s Incredible Impacts Awards are still open! Get the chance to win the $20,000 Incredible Impacts Grant if you believe you’ve made an incredible impact through one of your meetings or the $5,000 Incredible Impacts Seed Fund Grant if you are in the early stages of implementing your legacy initiative.

The applications for both grants will close on June 3 and can be done via this link: https://www.incredibleimpacts.com/ 

Need inspiration? Check out our resources page where you’ll find case studies on past winners.

Updates From Our Partner Cities

Here’s a round-up of the updates and events that our partner cities have for you from April onwards:


The newly published Michelin Guide Tokyo 2024 once again proves that Tokyo is indeed the perfect destination for foodies, with the addition of 1 new 3-starred restaurant, 1 new 2-starred restaurant, and 16 new 1-starred restaurants to the city’s existing list of Michelin stars. This brings the total to 239 Michelin Stars across 183 establishments, with a total of 504 delicious restaurants recommended by the guide in total.

Meanwhile, spring has come to Tokyo, welcoming the cherry blossom viewing season. It’s the perfect time to visit parks for photo shoots and have picnics in any of the breathtaking gardens filled with the iconic flowers Tokyo is known for.

Trees with Cherry Blossom in Tokyo
Photo courtesy: ©Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau


The initial numbers are in, showing what a great year 2023 was for travel and hospitality in Houston. The City of Houston enjoyed a 5% increase in the number of visitors last year compared to 2022, with over 51 million travelers in total. Over 560 meetings and conventions boosted the results, a huge leap from the 414 meetings hosted in 2022. The final numbers are expected to be released later this spring.

Looking at this year’s numbers, the region’s leisure and hospitality jobs grew in January with 349,500 new jobs, a 2% increase from January last year and a 9% increase from pre-pandemic performance. The industry covers 10.3% of the 3.4 million non-farm jobs in the region.

The Houston hotel market also continues to show gains across key metrics based on February’s performance. Still showing significant improvement compared to last year’s numbers this time of year, the ADR shows a 5% increase while RevPar went up by 4%. Some major contributors to this increase were the Barbeque Cook-Off at the start of February and several large conferences. 

February was also a good month for Houston airports, with a 3.9% growth from February last year. Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) ushered in over 3.4 million passengers, a 2.7% increase, while Hobby Airport saw an 8.2% increase with 1 million passengers. There was an increase of 11.6% for international passengers, as well as an 8.8% increase in domestic passengers.

To further boost Houston’s hospitality industry, Houston First has launched the revamped Houston Insider Program. This program aims to educate and engage frontline hospitality staff so that they can embrace being ambassadors of the city. The training program will equip hospitality professionals with insider knowledge and will allow them to experience firsthand the tours, tastings, shows, and everything else Houston has to offer.


The Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) has released the analysis from its blockbuster 2024 run. It shows that business traded between exhibitors and buyers is estimated to be worth more than $330 million over the next 12 months—a 65% increase from 2023. The tradeshow was AIME’s largest in a decade, with more than 570 exhibitors, 595 hosted buyers, and 17,000 meetings occurring on the show floor across the two days.

Melbourne also recently hosted the World Indigenous Cancer Conference 2024, which was organized by the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance in partnership with Cancer Council Victoria and the International Agency for Research on Cancer / World Health Organization at Pullman Melbourne on the Park.  Close to 550 key Indigenous cancer researchers, clinicians, advocates, and community partners from across the globe convened to identify opportunities and challenges facing Indigenous people living with cancer on a global scale.

Melbourne Convention Bureau Chief Executive Julia Swanson and Chamber Change Champion participated alongside Hello Music World Founder Karen K. Kim in sharing their insights at the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Chamber Change ASEAN Collaboration Forum in March.

The event provided an excellent platform for ASEAN delegates to delve deeper into VCCI’s internationally acclaimed program and explore avenues for expanding the ASEAN Chamber Change network. The forum served as a fantastic opportunity to strengthen ASEAN-Australia ties and foster new partnerships and collaboration prospects.

Meanwhile, thousands of financial leaders from around the world will meet in Melbourne on April 16 to attend the inaugural Asia Pacific Financial and Innovation Symposium, demonstrating that Victoria is the place to be for financial services and business events. Delivered by Visit Victoria and the Melbourne Convention Bureau, the one-day exposition will be the first of its kind for the region. Symposium delegates will explore industry trends in artificial intelligence, technology, energy transition, and social governance with an Asia Pacific focus.

UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry Asia Pacific Conference, is heading to Melbourne in 2025, thanks to the efforts of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and supported by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB). The 2025 UFI conference will be held in Melbourne on 13-14 February, immediately following the globally renowned Asia Pacific Incentives and Meeting Event (AIME), which is owned by MCB.

Finally, this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Invest in Women: Celebrate Progress, can be well demonstrated by progressive Melbourne – a multicultural city that champions diversity and inclusion. For business event planners seeking ways to amplify sustainability outcomes of diversity and inclusion, MCB partners with a number of suppliers that offer the option of all-female teams to deliver everything from exhibition builds to audio-visual tech to film production.


The 10th Transport Research Arena (TRA-2024) will take place in the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) from April 15 to 18, with over 2,500 international delegates. This is the largest research and technology conference on transport and mobility and is a significant event in relation to transport policymaking.

Meanwhile, the 43rd Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment takes place in the Convention Centre Dublin from April 24 to 27. This will see over 800 delegates from the impact assessment community visit Dublin to discuss how to decarbonize energy markets, advance a green and circular economy, protect social justice and equality, incentivize restorative measures to halt or reverse natural resource degradation and increase human and environmental wellbeing.


Berlin, Brandenburg (TMB Tourismus-Marketing Brandenburg GmbH), and Berlin Brandenburg Airport shared a booth at the recently concluded ITB Berlin, where trade visitors experienced the highlights of the year in Germany’s most exciting metropolis. Some of the events featured were EURO2024, 35 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the cultural offerings with the Humboldt Forum, the Friedrichstadt-Palast and the multifaceted districts as well as aspects of sustainability in tourism.

In the same event, Eurowings revealed plans to offer an additional 100,000 seats departing from Berlin, while easyJet shared details about the extended selection of routes, along with the announcement of 200,000 additional seats to be made available at BER.

VisitBerlin also became the first tourism destination management and marketing organization to initiate cooperation with the tourism organization of the city of Kiev. Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin, Sabine Wendt, Managing Director of visitBerlin, and Marianna Oleskiv, Chairwoman of the State Agency Tourism Development Ukraine and patron of Kiev tourism, used the ITB as the world’s leading travel trade fair for the presentation. A Memorandum of Understanding between visitBerlin and the city of Kiev was signed at the Berlin booth in Hub27 in the presence of Franziska Giffey, Senator for Economic Affairs.

Meanwhile, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has secured the sixth position in the global rankings by Newsweek, showing an improvement from the previous year and maintaining its position among the top ten. Newsweek, in collaboration with Statista, evaluated 2,400 hospitals globally to compile this annual ranking, emphasizing the international esteem of a hospital and the connectivity of its personnel and scholars.

Berlin’s club and techno scene is also getting the attention it deserves, being a magnet for night owls from all over the world. Techno has become the soundtrack for the spirit of freedom after the fall of the Berlin Wall. At the same time, Berlin’s clubs offer protected spaces for exchange and new ideas. That’s why a group of clubs, and techno in general, is now considered a UNESCO cultural heritage.

Lastly, Berlin has been declared one of Europe’s Best Cities according to Resonance, along with London and Paris. Compared to the previous year, Berlin has moved up an impressive four places. For this city ranking, over 180 European cities were assessed in three areas — livability, lovability, and prosperity.


Guadalajara has been chosen to host the 26th World Congress of Dermatology happening in June 2027. Team Guadalajara participated in the recent WCD2027-ILDS Cocktail Reception held in San Diego, where they were able to promote the 2027 congress and invite other industry leaders to experience the journey with them.


The Dubai World Trade Center proves its prowess as a global events and exhibitions industry powerhouse as it unveils its 2023 performance. Hosting 301 events (including consumer events) in 2023, it attracted 2.47 million participants—a 25% year-on-year increase. Of these events, 107 were exhibitions, international association conventions, and industry conferences. These events collectively attracted 1.56 million attendees – a 33% YoY increase.

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) also honored the members of its Al Safeer Congress Ambassador Program for securing major global conferences, boosting the city’s knowledge economy and contributing to its D33 goals. The ambassadors were part of 34 member organizations, which included healthcare professionals, scientists, industry experts, academics, and business leaders.

Dubai Creek 2