BIT : Milan breaks a new record


A GDP that is comparable to other European countries, such as Ireland. High levels of creativity and innovation. Milan is attracting an increasing international presence, with consistently increasing figures in the travel industry, in particular, in the meeting industry.

Milan By Numbers 2015 describes the city from an international perspective. It gives a snapshot of the city’s prospects outlined by the Research Lab on the International Meeting Industry (LAMCI) for the Bit – International Tourism Exchange. This initiative was developed by ASERI (Graduate School of Economics and International Relations of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) in collaboration with Fiera Milano Congressi.

With reference to the Travel sector, according to the balance sheets relative to 2015, the city has recorded a total of 11,741,374 overnight stays, 7,258,350 of which are international travellers (+17,1% compared to 2014), with an average annual rate of hotel room occupancy equal to 69.3%. The figures recorded in 2016, even if still partial, follow this trend, with a 1.5-1.8% increase compared to 2015. About one fifth (19%) of overnight stays come from the meeting industry. Milan is ranked third out of 243 European cities for its indoor exhibition surface and seventh for the total surface dedicated to congresses and events. In 2015, the metropolitan area counted 33,718 meetings and events and 2.27 million participants (according to the Italian Congress and Events Observatory). Moreover, the city hosted 93 international association congresses (according to ICCA – International Congress and Convention Association) attended by 64,110 participants. It is also ranked 21st in the world for the number of this type of events.

The 316 conference venues of the metropolitan area (220 only in the city of Milan) represent over one third (33.8%) of the 934 facilities in Lombardy (first region in Italy) and about one fifth (19.7%) of those in North-Western Italy, whereas they are equal to 5.5% of all the 5,407 venues detected by OICE (an employers’ Association, belonging to Confindustria – the Confederation of Italian Industry – which represents Italian engineering, architectural and technical economic consulting organisations) in Italy. The overall number of days was 49,892 with a total of 3,569,426 participants. On average, an event lasts one day and a half and is attended by 67 participants.

“Milan’s figures, especially those relative to research, innovation, and creativity – said Roberto Nelli, Scientific Manager for LAMCI – show how the city is able to withstand the international competition in the business travel industry, providing top class facilities and competencies”.

The macroeconomic scenario has provided plenty of confirmations and a few surprises and interesting facts. With a Gross Domestic Product of 186 billion Euros (according to the Milan Chamber of Commerce), 5% of Italian active enterprises, and 10% of creative ones, the city ranked 10th in Europe in 2015 for economic prospects (according to the European Regional Economic Growth Index). And it goes even better when it comes to Research & Development, as Milan registers one fourth (25%) of all Italian patents. In Lombardy, 4 billion Euros have been invested in R&D, ranking Milan 49th out of 445 cities with a high level of economic and social innovation (according to the City Innovation Classification and Rankings).

The figures related to human capital are also encouraging. In fact, Milan is ranked 37th out of 181 world cities (according to the Cities in Motion Index). More than 187 thousand students study in one of the 7 universities in Lombardy, and over 43% of the population aged between 30 and 34 years has a university degree. Milan also boasts good employment prospects for newly-graduates (16th out of 75 cities), whereas there is still room for improvement in attracting international students. According to the Best Student Cities, it is ranked 38th out of 75.

In terms of reputation, Milan is ranked 21st out of 55 global cities (according to City RepTrakTM) and confirms to be a global fashion capital, ranked 6th out of 56 world cities (according to Top Global Fashion Capitals). In addition, it refutes its reputation of being one of the most expensive cities (as it is ranked 50th out of 209 in the world and 7th in Europe, according to the Cost of Living Survey) and of being not so environmentally-friendly. Despite green areas are still below the Italian average (17.4 sq.m per inhabitant vs. 32.2 sq.m), in 10 years, Milan has halved the days in which pollution limits were exceeded and has climbed the world ranking of the 100 most sustainable cities reaching number 36 (according to the Sustainable Cities Index).

For the near future, Milan aims at becoming even more attractive for the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) segment, including other urban transformations in its agenda. These include the completion of the Porta Nuova and City life projects, the redesign of 1.25 million sq.m of disused railway stations, new cultural centres designed by famous architects, such as Fondazione Prada by Rem Koolhaas or the newly-inaugurated Fondazione Feltrinelli by Herzog & De Meuron; not to mention the prospects opened with the establishment of the new “La Statale” university campus in the Expo area, and the Human Technopole project.

To grasp this evolution and transform it into business opportunities, the Bit -International Tourism Exchange 2017 will reserve a prominent position to the business travel industry at the fieramilanocity trade fair (from 2nd to 4th of April 2017), dedicating one of the 4 areas to MICE besides Leisure, Luxury, and Sports. A room for business where exhibitors can meet buyers, corporate decision-makers, and professionals, even through scheduled meetings. It will also be a chance for reflection, discussion, and exchange of data, facts, and trends thanks to all the events, which will be enriched with the expertise of Federcongressi&Eventi, a partner association of the trade fair.

The Bit -International Tourism Exchange 2017 will take place in fieramilanocity in Milan from Sunday 2nd to Tuesday 4th of April.

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