One of Lugano's objectives is to consolidate itself as a congress destination at both a national and international level, strengthening its role as a Conference venue. Today, Lugano is one of the world's leading Swiss destinations and is one of the ten most important cities in the sector. The organisation of around 25 congresses a year - with an average of 400-500 participants - also ensures a good position in the European ranking. Thanks to its activity, Lugano also contributes to the ranking of Switzerland among the first 20 nations in the world in the organization of international conferences.

Business for the City

The conference segment is an important source of business for the City of Lugano and for the whole region, and its value is recognized within both trade associations and institutions. Congress tourism, in fact, generates an income 3-4 times higher than leisure tourism. It is estimated an average business income of CHF 400.- per person per day.

Collaboration networks

The congress facilities are not only provided by a congress centre, but also by a network of public and private entities that together create the essential elements of the congress market.
Infrastructures, services and accessibility must be adequate; the research, acquisition and lobbying work of the Fairs and Congresses sector of the City of Lugano, conducted in collaboration with professors, leading companies and political authorities, is also particularly important.

Palazzo dei Congressi is one of the few facilities in Ticino suitable for hosting congresses with more than 500-1'000 participants. With a view to creating a new congress centre, the City of Lugano has promoted a project based on the model of public-private partnership (PPP) to develop a new tourist-congress centre.

The ICML-International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma is held regularly in Lugano every two years. From about 300 people in 1981, now more than 3'500 doctors, oncologists and researchers are present at the Palazzo dei Congressi: edition after edition, numerous and complex changes were introduced, from the point of view of the services offered, logistics and technology.

According to international trends, congresses are increasing but the average number of participants per event has decreased. In addition, once occasional meetings take place more frequently today. The growth of association meetings, on the one hand, and progress in the fields of science, health and technology, on the other, go hand in hand. Association congresses are largely guided by the progress of the sector: the continuous innovations - a distinctive feature of recent decades - give rise to new associations and, therefore, a completely new way of organising conferences.