The economic spin-offs that congresses bring to the region are essential for Maastricht and Limburg. In order to boost Limburg’s international reputation as a conference destination and to realize a provincial development of the Maastricht Convention Bureau in the short term, the Province of Limburg is investing in a two-year pilot project.
The Province of Limburg and the Maastricht Convention Bureau (MCB) are committed to bringing in more congresses that tie in with the regional scientific ecosystem and the spearheads of the Brightlands Campuses. According Joost van den Akker, deputy Province of Limburg (economy and knowledge infrastructure), the potential of the Limburg congress market is still insufficiently exploited. “Certainly, now that campus development is steaming up, the time has come to bring more and larger conferences to Limburg.”
With this investment from the Province of Limburg, specific attention will be paid to recruiting congresses that tie in with the themes of the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen. This could include conferences on high-quality materials and sustainable technologies. The working area is hereby expanded from Maastricht, where MCB is already working intensively with the Brightlands Health Campus, the UM and the MUMC +, to Sittard-Geleen.
On the other hand, it is mapped out how the Maastricht Convention Bureau can also contribute to the development of the Brightlands Campuses in Heerlen and, in the future, Venlo, by recruiting conferences. After all, numerous conferences are organized on an international level around themes such as “nutrition & food” or “big data” that fit in well with our infrastructure. Jurgen Moors, director of the MCB: “Maastricht is already doing very well internationally when it comes to medical conferences, but we also want to address the other markets in which we as a region excel scientifically. With Brightlands as a partner, this is certainly a feasible card. Congresses are an excellent resource to generate exposure for our province and to introduce top scientists to our campuses / (knowledge) institutions. These ambassadors for our province will become new collaborative partners or sometimes even investors in the future. “He emphasizes:” The most attractive are large and international titles, but of course smaller, often highly specialized conferences are also very welcome. These can then take place in the hotels affiliated with us or “on site” at the campuses.”
Congress tourism is the most attractive form of tourism. After all, the spending pattern of a conference participant is many times higher than the spending pattern of a leisure tourist. For example, a participant in a conference leaves an average of € 365 a day in the Maastricht region.