What’s New This June?

Welcome to the latest roundup from BestCities Global Alliance, bringing you the most recent updates and highlights from our partner cities around the world. This edition features exciting news about upcoming events, notable achievements, and impactful initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to enhancing the global meetings and events industry. Join us as we celebrate the successes of our destinations and look forward to the innovative projects on the horizon.

Featured image for the June 2024 round-up

Unleashing the Power of AI: Insights from the Community Café

On June 5th, under the BestCities Madrid Challenge initiative, we hosted our second Community Café session, bringing together AI enthusiasts and professionals to explore practical AI tools and applications, particularly focusing on tools like ChatGPT. Julian Moore, our featured speaker, provided a comprehensive overview of AI applications, privacy settings, personalisation techniques, and much more. Here’s a summary of the key insights from the event and five essential tips to get you started with ChatGPT.

Watch the full recording below and check out a summary of the session with key highlights here.

The next online Community Cafe is scheduled for November 6 and will be a deeper dive into AI with Julian Moore. Find out more about this session here.

ICCA Association Impact Masterclass to be Hosted by BestCities Global Alliance in Dublin

In partnership with ICCA, we will host an Association Impact Masterclass in Dublin from January 26-28, 2025. This event aims to empower association leaders by enhancing their capabilities in designing, delivering, and measuring impactful activities that drive social, economic, and environmental benefits.

The Masterclass will equip participants with essential skills to foster meaningful partnerships, craft impactful mission statements, and develop effective measurement strategies. The program includes expert-led workshops, panel discussions, and interactive sessions focused on networking, case studies, and skill development.

Click here to learn more.

Extended Submission Deadline for Incredible Impacts Awards

Great news for those aiming to showcase the “beyond tourism” value of their international association meetings. The submission deadline for the Incredible Impacts Awards has been extended from June 3 to June 17, 2024. This programme celebrates innovative thinking and creativity in the meetings industry, highlighting the positive societal impact and lasting legacy we can achieve together.

The awards include a USD $20,000 Incredible Impacts Grant and a USD $5,000 Seed Fund Grant. This extension offers more time to prepare and submit your inspiring legacy-making initiatives. Don’t miss this opportunity to be recognised and inspire others in the industry.

Apply now and contribute to shaping a better future with your impactful initiatives: incredibleimpacts.com

Join Our Hosted Buyer Group at Convening EMEA

Join BestCities at Convening EMEA this September in Barcelona, Spain, where event professionals from around the globe will share, debate, experiment, and co-create. We are thrilled to offer an exclusive complimentary registration to attend the conference as part of our hosted buyer group.

This opportunity includes a choice of offsite exploration tours, access to the welcome reception and event dinner, an all-access pass to the onsite event and event platform, refreshments, lunches, a Barcelona travel pass, and post-event platform access for 12 months. Participants will also enjoy an exclusive BestCities networking event.

Don’t miss out on this chance to engage with global thought leaders like Michael Bungay Stanier, a renowned author and expert in personal development. Secure your spot and join us in Barcelona for an enriching and transformative experience.

Convening EMEA 2024 banner

Click here to register.

BestCities Partners Shine in ICCA Rankings

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has released its 2023 Country and City Rankings, and BestCities Global Alliance members are prominently featured. Singapore ranked second with 152 meetings, followed by Madrid (#8), Dublin (#9), Berlin (#12), and Tokyo (#13). Other notable rankings include Copenhagen (#17), Melbourne (#35), Vancouver (#35), Dubai (#38), Cape Town (#50), Houston (#70), Washington (#84), Guadalajara (#212).

Click here to read more.

Reflecting on IMEX Frankfurt: Productive Meetings and a Full House Breakfast

Our participation at IMEX Frankfurt was a success. Before the event, we held the BestCities Board and SBD Meetings, making key strategic decisions to drive our initiatives forward. We also had a powerful session with our advisory board, bringing together strategic thinkers to provide invaluable insights and guidance.

During IMEX, our BestCities breakfast was a full house once again, filled with partners, clients, and friends from the industry. This gathering provided a great opportunity to reconnect, share updates, and strengthen our global community.

The discussions and connections made during IMEX Frankfurt are already paving the way for new collaborations and innovative projects.

We’re excited about the future and the continued growth and impact of our alliance.

BestCities Head Office posting for a picture at IMEX Frankfurt 2024

Updates From Our Partner Cities


Guadalajara has been selected as the host city for World Physiotherapy’s 21st general meeting and congress in 2027, as announced by the World Physiotherapy board on May 18, 2024. This event will be organized by AMEFI Colegio Nacional de Fisioterapia/Mexican Association of Physiotherapy and marks the first time that World Physiotherapy will hold its general meeting and congress in its South America region.

AMEFI Colegio Nacional de Fisioterapia, a member of World Physiotherapy since 1970, boasts 621 members and is proud to bring this significant event to Guadalajara. This milestone highlights Guadalajara’s growing reputation as a premier destination for international conferences and events.


On June 15, the Olympic Stadium will host the first of six UEFA EURO 2024 soccer matches, marking the kick-off of Europe’s biggest soccer tournament in Berlin. This event will spotlight Berlin on the global stage, transforming the Brandenburg Gate into the largest soccer goal in the world. The European Football Championship being held in Berlin is a significant advertising boost, presenting an excellent opportunity for the Berlin Convention Office to showcase the city’s capability to host major events and highlight Berlin as a hospitable, cosmopolitan, and international metropolis.

At IMEX Frankfurt, Cvent announced Europe’s top meeting destinations for 2024, with Berlin moving up two spots. This reflects the city’s commitment to the MICE industry, hosting significant events like ITB Berlin and offering innovative programs such as BESTIVAL and Sustainable Meetings Berlin to support event organisers’ needs.

Additionally, the International Aerospace Exhibition and Conference (ILA) will return to Berlin from June 5th to 9th, 2024. Held at the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport, this premier event will feature the latest advancements in aerospace technology, industry insights, networking opportunities, and impressive aerial displays.


Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau is thrilled to announce that IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications 2026 (IEEE INFOCOM 2026) will be hosted in Tokyo. Returning to Japan for the first time in 29 years, IEEE INFOCOM is one of the world’s leading conferences on networking in the research community and is expected to attract 900 participants. TCVB is dedicated to supporting the conference with generous financial subsidies and in-kind support to ensure its success.

In other news, Haneda Airport has been voted the world’s cleanest airport for the ninth consecutive year by SKYTRAX, the international rating organization for air transport facilities and services. Additionally, Haneda was named the World’s Best Domestic Airport for the twelfth consecutive year and the World’s Best Airport for Passengers with Restricted Mobility (PRM) and Accessibility Features for the sixth consecutive year. We look forward to welcoming you to Tokyo soon.

View of the Tokyo skyline by night


Vancouver has achieved a strong position in the latest International Convention and Congress Association (ICCA) 2023 rankings. The city ranked second in Canada and third among all North American destinations. On the global stage, Vancouver secured the 35th spot and ranked fourth in the Americas, hosting a total of 50 international meetings in 2023.

This accomplishment underscores Vancouver’s growing influence and appeal in the international meetings industry. The city’s leading convention centre, world-class convention hotel options, vibrant cultural scene, and commitment to hosting sustainable global meetings contribute to its prominent status both within Canada and globally.

Vancouver skyline at dawn


Houston continues to strengthen its position as a premier destination for meetings and events in the U.S. Recent travel trends highlight the city’s growing appeal, with a notable increase in business travel expected in 2024. Forbes has also recognized Houston as one of the least expensive U.S. destinations, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious event planners.

The city’s robust hospitality sector supports this growth, with 354,000 jobs in leisure and hospitality contributing to a vibrant and dynamic environment for visitors. Additionally, Houston’s airports have seen consistent growth in traffic, further solidifying the city’s status as a key hub for both domestic and international travel.

Houston’s reputation as a top meeting destination is further enhanced by its selection as the host city for the 2026 World Baseball Classic, promising to bring significant economic impact and global attention. The recent appointment of new board members to Houston First underscores the city’s commitment to fostering a thriving business and tourism landscape.

With these developments, Houston is poised to continue its upward trajectory as a leading meeting and event hub in the U.S.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


In May, Singapore hosted three significant medical conferences. The ISMRM & ISMRT Annual Meeting & Exhibition took place at Suntec City Convention Centre, drawing over 5,000 attendees over five days. The event concluded with a memorable closing reception along the F1 tracks, set against the stunning backdrop of Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay.

Following this, the International Team Implantology World Symposium at the Singapore Expo welcomed 5,700 attendees from over 100 countries.

As May came to an end, Singapore also welcomed over 13,000 Rotary members and participants from 120 countries for the Annual Rotary International Convention.

Rotary global summit in Singapore

In June, the Wellness Festival Singapore will return from 21 June to 21 July, in collaboration with Glow Festival. This month-long event will feature over 120 wellness experiences, partnering with more than 75 collaborators to showcase Singapore as an urban wellness haven.

In line with Singapore’s commitment to global wellness, the Singapore Tourism Board has renewed its partnership with the Global Wellness Institute (GWI). Singapore proudly stands as the first country partner in GWI’s “Geography of Wellness” platform, highlighting its ambition to be a leading urban wellness destination.

Additionally, foreigners arriving in Singapore can now use the automated lanes at Changi Airport for immigration clearance, including first-time visitors without prior enrollment. The Immigration Checkpoints Authority (ICA) plans to install 800 such lanes across all of Singapore’s checkpoints by 2026, ensuring faster and more secure immigration clearance at various entry points, including Seletar Airport and Marina Bay Cruise Centre.


Summer in Madrid will kick off with the 29th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA 24) from June 13 to 16, expecting to attract 12,000 delegates.

In terms of destination promotion, MCB has three major events lined up this month. Representatives will travel to Prague for the MCE Events Club Forum professional show (June 16 to 19) and to London for The Meetings Show (June 19 to 20).

Back in Madrid, 28 agencies from the United States and Canada will participate in the Madrid Agency Forum event (June 26 to 29). This year, the forum is organized in collaboration with Turespaña and the city of Malaga. The MAF aims to be an annual meeting where international agencies can discover Madrid in a unique way. This year’s program includes a picnic in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Retiro Park and an exploration of the city’s crafts and gastronomy, accompanied by around twenty MCB company members. The group will also engage in a positive impact action.

Madrid is renowned as one of the best LGTBIQA+ destinations in the world, with its Pride festivities attracting thousands of visitors. The celebrations will begin on June 28, International Pride Day, and continue for a week with a varied program of activities.

Additionally, the Madrid Book Fair, held annually since 1933 in Retiro Park, will take place during the first two weeks of June. This event brings together nearly 400 publishers and bookstores and attracted more than 1 million visitors in 2023.

Madrid book fair


In June, Dublin is set to host several significant events, starting with the European Association of Urology Nurses (EAUN) Annual Meeting from June 8 to 11. This event will bring together over 1,500 delegates to discuss the latest advancements and best practices in urology nursing.

In May, the Dublin Convention Bureau had a busy month of destination promotion. Representatives traveled to IMEX Frankfurt from May 14 to 16, where they highlighted Dublin’s capabilities and appeal as a leading meetings and events destination. Following this, the team participated in the Meet Dublin in London event on May 22, engaging with UK-based event planners and showcasing Dublin’s unique offerings.

Snapshot of four people meeting at a diner during the Meet Dublin event in London

Moreover, the city is preparing for the Dublin Pride Parade on June 25, a vibrant and inclusive celebration that draws visitors from around the globe. This event is a testament to Dublin’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, providing a welcoming atmosphere for all attendees.

Dublin continues to strengthen its position as a premier destination for international conferences and events, leveraging its rich cultural heritage, modern infrastructure, and warm hospitality to attract global audiences.


The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) continues to be a pivotal venue for driving economic growth in the city. In 2023, the events hosted at DWTC significantly contributed to the local economy, showcasing Dubai’s capability as a premier destination for large-scale exhibitions and conferences.

Key highlights from the DWTC’s economic impact report include substantial economic output and job creation. The events held at DWTC in 2023 generated a remarkable economic output, contributing to the city’s overall economic health. Additionally, these events created numerous job opportunities, further strengthening the local job market.

The diverse range of events, from major international exhibitions to large-scale conferences, underscores DWTC’s role in attracting global audiences and fostering economic development. This impact demonstrates Dubai’s commitment to maintaining its position as a leading global hub for business and events, ensuring a thriving and dynamic economy.

Washington, DC

Destination DC has joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). This membership underscores our commitment to sustainability, preserving Washington, DC’s rich heritage, and enhancing its appeal as a premier travel destination. By adopting GSTC standards, we aim to promote sustainable tourism practices and ensure our growth benefits both the environment and community. This step secures a better future for all who live in and visit our nation’s capital.

In May, the DDC sales staff attended IMEX Frankfurt and showcased the city for the MICE market. 

Skift Meetings in partnership with IMEX captured DC’s Connected positioning in What’s New in Meetings and Incentive Travel 2024.

Washington, DC, was rated the best big-city park system in the United States for the fourth consecutive year. The city scored well on all ParkScore rating factors. Twenty-four percent of land in the District of Columbia is reserved for parks, among the highest in the United States. The District also outperformed on ParkScore’s park access and park equity metrics with 99 percent of residents living within walking distance of a park. 


In a move to champion sustainable business events, Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has unveiled its latest interactive Melbourne eGuide, focusing on the city’s sustainable suppliers, products, and experiences. This special edition aims to guide event planners and delegates to meet with purpose, inspiring event planning with a strong focus on sustainability.

In recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, MCEC announced new collaborations and initiatives to help event organisers deliver more accessible and inclusive events. These efforts were highlighted during the Australian Disability Network IMPACT Conference, featuring accessible technology, Auslan interpreters, sensory rooms, and accommodations for assistance animals. MCEC’s commitment to inclusivity was further demonstrated through features such as ramps for presenters with mobility needs and a buggy service operated by Travellers Aid for attendees with mobility requirements.

Melbourne Convention Bureau supported the 44th edition of the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE24), held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 19 to 23, 2024. This event brought together Australian tourism businesses and global distribution partners for scheduled business appointments and key networking events. ATE24 also provided international buyers the chance to experience Australia’s tourism offerings firsthand through pre- and post-event familiarizations. The event hosted around 1,500 Australian seller delegates, 700 buyer delegates from over 30 countries, and 80 media representatives from around the world.

Melbourne continues to demonstrate its appeal not only for tourists but also as an ideal city for corporate meetings and incentive groups. From unique wildlife experiences to world-class events like the Australian Open and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Melbourne offers a multitude of exclusive and memorable experiences for every group. Click here for more inspiration.


Copenhagen is abuzz with excitement for the soon-to-open 25Hours Hotel, part of the new urban quarter of Papirøen (Paper Island). Situated near the water and just a stone’s throw from major attractions like Copenhagen’s opera house, the 25Hours Hotel Paper Island is set to become a favourite among visitors and meeting planners.

Opening on 27 July, the hotel will feature 128 rooms, three meeting rooms, and three breakout rooms. Guests can look forward to a rooftop bar with stunning views, a restaurant offering food with an Asian twist, and a ground-floor bar and café with an outdoor terrace.

This new addition to Copenhagen’s hospitality scene promises to offer a unique and vibrant experience for all.

25Hours hotel in Copenhagen