CWT Meetings & Events, a division of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, has released its predictions for the top ten destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for 2019, with London maintaining its position as number one.

The forecast shows London as the top destination in EMEA for events despite uncertainty surrounding the impact of Brexit.

Moscow has climbed four places since the 2018 forecast, overtaking Eurozone destinations to claim the number two spot. CWT Meetings & Events says the city’s growing popularity could be a result of Russia’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup earlier this year.

European cities such as Barcelona, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Stockholm and Cologne fill out the middle of the list.

Meanwhile, Paris has fallen from number two this year to number nine for 2019 and Frankfurt finishes the top ten.

Across EMEA, cost per attendee is predicted to increase by 6 per cent in 2019 to an average of US$255. Higher-than-expected inflation and rising interest rates will pay into this.

While they didn’t make the top ten, secondary UK cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool continue to see growth.

Another interesting trend to emerge from the research was a rise in demand for non-traditional and non-hotel venues, which has seen properties such as sporting arenas able to tap into the income potential of events.

And while safety and security remain a top concern for companies, CWT Meetings & Events says the terrorist attacks in the UK, Germany, Spain and France in recent years do not appear to have had a significant impact on the demand for events in major cities within those countries.

Commenting on what the future may hold for the UK and the rest of the region, Ian Cummings, vice president of EMEA at CWT Meetings & Events, said: “Border control in the UK is a concern post-Brexit if tighter measures lead to longer queues at airports. Paris will start taking business from the UK if it becomes tricky for attendees to come into the country – especially from Asia.”

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