Johannesburg’s position as one of the top business event destinations on the continent is confirmed by the latest ranking of host cities worldwide by the International Congress and Conventions Association (ICCA).

Inside the main foyer of the Sandton Convention CentreInside the main foyer of the Sandton Convention Centre. (Photo: ICCA’s statistics on the number of international association meetings hosted by countries and cities in 2014, released on 11 May, put Joburg in 101st place, up by 35 places from 136th in 2013.

The last improvement continues a rapid climb up the rankings that has seen Joburg move up a total of 133 places since 2011, when it ranked a lowly 234th in the world.

It also follows on Joburg’s rating as Africa’s most visited city in the 2014 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, along with a host of accolades the city has recently received in the international travel press – the latest being when leading US magazine Travel + Leisure named it one of the world’s Top 50 places to travel to in 2015.

“We are thrilled to learn about the improved ICCA rankings for our city as this is yet another demonstration that Joburg is a city at work,” Executive Mayor Parks Tau said, pointing out that international congresses, conferences and expos played an important role in bringing tourists to the city.

“Joburg’s continued improvement in its ICCA rankings is thanks to a collaborative effort with our industry partners, peers and stakeholders and confirms the city’s status as a world-class business events destination.”

European Union countries dominated the top 10 places in the list, with Paris in first place, despite the top-ranked country being the USA. Beijing, in 14th place, was the top-ranked non-EU country.

In working out its rankings, the ICCA only includes meetings that are held on a regular basis, have at least 50 delegates, and rotate between at least three countries.