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Aarhus Ranked as One of the World’s Most Popular Conference Cities


Once again, Aarhus is in the Top 100 on the highly recognised ranking list just published by ICCA (The International Congress & Convention Association). Along with Gothenburg, Aarhus is one of just two Scandinavian non-capital cities ranked in this much coveted top of the list.

Being ranked as a top conference city has great significance to Aarhus’ ability to attract international, academic conferences, to the branding of the city as well as to the turnover of local businesses.

Aarhus is moving up 46 places on the ICCA ranking list of top destinations for international, academic conferences. Since last year’s ranking as number 134 on the list, Aarhus is back in the Top 100 as the 88th most frequently used conference city in the world among the list’s 424 competing cities.

The year when Aarhus was European Capital of Culture in 2017 brought the city up as number 72 on the list in 2018. Last year, Aarhus seemed to have lost a bit of steam, but today the city is back among the top once again.

”I am incredibly proud that we have managed to fight our way back into the Top 100, as the competition is tough, and there are many great conference cities around the world. Last time, we were backed by the title of European Capital of Culture. This time around, strong cooperation between Aarhus University, local businesses, the Municipality of Aarhus and VisitAarhus has put us in a stronger position than ever before. And the fact that we are even one of the very few Scandinavian cities in the Top 100 only goes to show that we have created something quite unique here in Aarhus,” Pia Lange Christensen, CEO at VisitAarhus, says.

Being ranked in the Top 100 on ICCA’s international ranking list helps attract international, academic conferences, which brings important turnover to the city. In total, the international conventions scheduled for 2021 and 2022, that VisitAarhus Convention Bureau has knowledge of at this time, are expected to generate a tourism turnover of DKK 182 million.

A closer look at the ranking list shows that Aarhus is ranked higher than hundreds of other cities. Denmark’s second city is ranked above many of the other strong cities that Aarhus is cooperating and competing with when it comes to attracting conferences, for instance Bergen, Norway (number 143), Uppsala, Sweden (number 112) and Maastricht, the Netherlands (number 191).

”I am proud of this impressive ranking on behalf of the city. Aarhus is a city with international ambitions and this is proof that our cooperation bears fruit. The efforts to boost international business tourism are crucial to the city’s growth, its ability to attract talented professionals, ensuring increased international exposure of Aarhus not to mention creating business turnover,” Jacob Bundsgaard, Mayor of Aarhus, says.

The close cooperation that has resulted in attracting 33 academic conferences is a main factor in making it to number 88 on the list this year. Aarhus University is thrilled with this ranking:

”Attracting major, international conferences is a strategic top priority to Aarhus University, and therefore we are delighted and quite impressed that the efforts have been so successful. The university’s cooperation with VisitAarhus and other players around the city is pivotal to this success – and we are looking very much forward to developing this even further in the years to come,” Anders Frølund, Head of Events and Communication Support at Aarhus University, says.

About ICCA

The International Congress & Convention Association – ICCA – is the international association of academic conferences. What is special about ICCA’s ranking list of the world’s most popular conference cities is the fact that it provides an overview of a wide selection of conference destination cities around the world and benchmarks them. ICCA has revealed the list to the association’s members, among these VisitAarhus, but the ranking list will not be released until later this year. For more information, please visit

About VisitAarhus Convention Bureau

VisitAarhus Convention Bureau is the division within VisitAarhus, which has as its purpose and goal to support and boost business tourism in Aarhus and the surrounding region. Through close cooperation with local business-tourism players and Aarhus University, VisitAarhus Convention Bureau assists in attracting meeting, convention and conference events from the national as well as the international market. Part of these efforts is VisitAarhus Convention Bureau’s free, customised assistance and consultancy for everyone with an interest in bringing conferences and congresses to Aarhus.