CDS aggregated data from twelve medical conferences and found that international attendance at medical conferences in the United States has stabilized in 2019 after several rocky years. However, EU attendance continues to decline. Both event attendance trends reflect the overall travel statistics to the United States.
Although travel growth has been robust over the last five years, the United States has not been getting its usual percentage of world travelers. Many factors have been identified as contributors to this drop-off including the strength of the dollar, natural disasters including wildfires and hurricanes, mass shootings and urban violence as well as political rhetoric making foreigners feel unwelcome in general.
For European visitors, the drop off began in 2015 and is in large part attributable to the 2015 ethics regulations that limit corporate sponsorship of medical professionals. The regulations are similar to those that are in place in the US that prohibit medical companies from directly financing event participation by individuals. The once common practice of paying for a doctor’s travel, housing, meals, and event participation is no longer allowed in the EU. The regulations also strive to address perceptions of medical and professional travel as a luxury experience which likely causes many professional to reconsider event attendance to avoid misconceptions.
Total Year-Over-Year Registrations:
International Year-Over-Year Attendance:
EU Year-Over-Year Attendance:
There is reason to be optimistic as visits to the US are expected to increase over the next several years according to the National Travel and Tourism Office in the U.S. Department of Commerce.