Some consider Montpellier to be the very definition of the Mediterranean city. With its rich historical heritage and idyllic location just a few kilometers from the sea, Montpellier is also a key International city for business tourism, especially for European and international associations, thanks to its competitive clusters and its world-class event facilities.
Nestled between sea, vineyards and mountains, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole is a sustainable and innovative destination with key assets for meeting planners: an international airport, 4 modern tramway lines (one of them designed by Christian Lacroix!), 2 railway stations, including one in the city centre (3h15 from Paris), and some 9,000 hotel rooms catering to all budgets.
As for congress and exhibition venues, there are four: the Corum conference centre, one of the rare major venues set in a downtown area, the Zenith Sud concert hall, the Sud de France Arena (the new multi-purpose venue for up to 14,000 people and the 2nd largest downtown facility in France), and the Exhibition Centre and its conference centre. In the end, it’s easy to understand why Montpellier is considered as one of the top 5 French meeting cities.
But there is more.
According to Ubi Global, a Swedish-based data and advisory firm specializing in mapping and highlighting the world of business incubation, the Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole Business & Innovation Centre (BIC) has been ranked in the top 5 world incubators in 2019 and has taken up the challenges of innovation with its sectors of excellence in the fields of health, digital technology, agroecology and environment.
Home to World’s oldest still-active medical school, the Montpellier area is also key cluster for health activities: a leading university (3rd in France), a major university hospital, high-level research centres, large companies (Bausch + Lomb, Bio-Rad, HORIBA Medical, and Sanofi), numerous innovative small- and medium-sized companies (1/3 of the startups assisted by Montpellier BIC are in the health field), and the Eurobiomed competitiveness cluster, the leading health network in France and leading European network for medical diagnostics.
Additionally, Montpellier benefits from an exceptionally high-quality environment, ranging from vineyards to scrublands to sea and marshes. Home of Agropolis International, a major worldwide research hub, the Métropole hosts one of the world’s largest scientific communities involved with agriculture, food, biodiversity, and environment.
In this regard, it comes hardly as a surprise that UNESCO and France created in 2019 the International Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Water Systems Dynamics in Montpellier. Similarly, the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS 2022) has chosen the city as their destination of choice for its XIth Scientific Assembly in May-June next year.