Record congress sales and visitor numbers in 2015Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, is constantly reinforcing its image as an international conference centre. Its main facility, Gothia Towers, is Europe’s largest integrated venue and has played a large part in a highly successful year for its parent, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Group.
The group has reported peak sales in 2015 of 130m Euros, up by 28%, resulting from almost 1.8m visits. These were 26% more than in the previous year. Operating profit was 17m Euros. Two of the largest international congresses held at Gothia Towers were World of Coffee in June 2015 and the Euro Attraction Show in October.
As many as 6,100 baristas and coffee producers made their way to Gothenburg from 81 countries in June. The October Show was attended by 7,500 delegates from the international world of amusement parks.
Carin Kindbom, President and CEO of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Group, comments: ‘Our 1bn Swedish Kroner investment in the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre between 2011 and 2014 was very well received by the market, both nationally and internationally. The results show that we have attracted new visitors and we can also see that when visitors attend our events in Gothenburg, they tend to stay a little longer’.
The Group has more ambitious plans. In December 2015 it applied for a development permit to expand the facility over a 15-year period. They intend to build two new towers, a new arcade and larger entrances.
‘We aim to continue growing, making Gothenburg more attractive and helping to promote local trade and industry,’ says Carin. ‘Our vision is to become Europe’s most attractive forum by offering the best overall experience.’
(A special report on Gothenburg as MICE destination was presented in ITCM in October 2015 after a personal visit by Jan Erik. )