Lombardy: The numbers of the Event Industry

Milan: the queen of events
It has always been beautiful but now its beauty is recognized by all. Yes, because Milan, especially after the 2015 Expo, is an increasingly sought after and appreciated destination for both leisure and congress tourism. And the numbers demonstrate it. The Lombard capital is in fact in 3rd place among the destinations that also in 2021 remained at the top of the European ranking for number of events with at least 1,000 participants. This was revealed by a study promoted by Fiera Milano Foundation and carried out by the Graduate School Aseri, the High School of Economics and International Relations of the Catholic University of Milan. Milan currently occupies the second position for events relating to the ambitious Technology, Economics and Commerce, the fourth for events relating to Management and the fifth for those dedicated to Medical Sciences and Industry. The study also recorded a significant positioning of Milan as a destination for events in the field of human sciences. The Lombard capital in fact hosted 22% of the total of these events surveyed in the eleven cities examined by the study, with particular reference to the Arts sector (40% of the total).

Another goal of Milan is its inclusiveness. The city is in fact the most inclusive destination in Italy in 2022 for tourism. In fact, it received the Inclusivity Index award from Italia Destinazione Digitale, the recognition created by The Data Appeal Company – Almawave Group and assigned to the regions and Italian tourist destinations that recorded the best online performances, distinguishing themselves in the eyes of tourists and visitors in terms of perception of the offer, quality of hospitality, services and experience.

Olympics Games start from Milan

And if leisure and mice tourism grows, so does the well-being of the city. Global Blue, a company in the tax free shopping sector, confirms that between August and October 2022 Milan was the city with the highest level of tax free spending in Italy (33%), thus surpassing the performance linked to tax free shopping in the pre -pandemic, with a recovery rate of 110%.

The success of Milan is destined to increase. There is less and less time left for a major sporting event that will give the city even more media visibility, increasing its appeal. In fact, Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo will welcome Milano Cortina 2026. In February 2026, around 2,900 male and female winter sports athletes will meet to compete for 114 medals in 8 sports and 16 disciplines. And the first Olympic Games in history to be hosted by 2 cities will start from Milan. In fact, the San Siro stadium will host the opening ceremony.

Milan and Lombardy : spaces for Mice

Milan is increasingly launched among the big Mice destinations and ready to host events of all types thanks to an offer of unrivaled hotels and locations. Here then is the refined post-industrial design of Magna Pars Suite in via Tortona and the allure of Hotel Tocq, a recently renovated boutique hotel a few steps from Corso Como. For those who prefer the classic style of the late nineteenth century, the address is that of the Hotel Galles, in Corso Buenos Aires. While for those looking for super easy mobility-proof business hotels, there is Hilton Milan and Dolce by Wyndham Milan Malpensa. The first is in the heart of the Central Station area, the second just 7 kilometers from Malpensa Airport. And always staying in the Malpensa area, 30 kilometers are enough to reach a Liberty masterpiece: the Palace Grand Hotel in Varese, historic charm and modern services in the garden city. Moving from Malpensa to Orio al Serio, there are only two kilometers that separate the strategic Lombard airport from the modern Winter Garden Hotel.

All rooms for the event

And clearly in Milan, as well as throughout Lombardy, the signs of major Italian and international Hotel brands cannot be missing, such as Marriott International, As Hotels and Starhotels, a guarantee of up-to-date services tailored to event planners as occurs, for example, at the Starhotels Ritz: 197 rooms and suites and 7 meeting rooms in the city centre, a few steps from Corso Buenos Aires. But together with the big names in the hotel industry there is an unusual alternative for events: the super-performing cinemas of the Uci Cinemas circuit.
A rich and composite offer, therefore, but which does not always guarantee international planners to secure rooms for events. Precisely for this reason Milano & Partners, with the support of Assolombarda, Confcommercio, Confesercenti, Federalberghi Milano and the Tourism and Accommodation Association, has launched the “Block of rooms” agreement. In fact, the Milano Convention Bureau offers intermediation to guarantee the organizers of major events spaces in accommodation facilities in the area. International operators can thus secure allotments and hotel services through a digital platform.

Record Lakes

Not only the capital but also the lakes of Lombardy are increasingly popular.

 Lake Como alone, a retreatfor many international stars, in 2022 had a tourist season worthy of the Guinness Book of Records.

Suffice it to think that in the January-July period arrivals increased by 48% compared to the same period in 2021. Stays are even more marked, growing by 52%. Even the months of September – November have a positive sign, so much so that many structures have decided to extend the season until the end of the year holidays. The numbers of “Navigazione Lago di Como” confirm that 2022 was truly a year to remember: exceeding 3.6 million passengers. A resounding success but not surprising. And which also makes  Lake Como an increasingly attractive destination for Mice thanks to a truly complete range of locations: historic villas, conference centres, unusual venues such as greenhouses and industrial archeology spaces and, of course, hotels such as Sheraton Lake Como, the first hotel chain to open on Lake Como. A jewel with 133 rooms and 4 suites and spaces for events including the new Spazio Como, a multifunctional auditorium suspended over the water.

Golf & Wellness

But that of Como is certainly not the only star of the Lombard lakes. 2022 was also a record year for Lake Garda. Attendance was in fact 27 million. An impressive number that rewards the investments made by Lombardy also in terms of golf and well-being, key elements for making even a corporate event attractive. As for golf, the Lombardy Region participates in the collaboration agreement “Italy Golf&More 2022-2023-2024”.

The project aims to include the Lombard golf courses in a network for the promotion of high-level sports tourism. And to do so in collaboration with the partner regions through joint participation in events, demonstrations and golf competitions. Events that will feature Chervò Golf Hotel SPA & Resort San Vigilio, a resort with Mice spaces boasting 36 holes, 9 of which executive and 27 championship, divided into 3 courses. As we were saying, in addition to golf, another leading product of the Lombard Garda region is certainly thermal spas: in fact, there are many structures in the area that win the biggest international awards in the spa&wellness world every year.




Written by
Simona Parini.