Estonia’s university town of Tartu has gained an impressive amount of ground in the newly-released 2015 International Congress and Convention Association rankings, moving up 61 slots from the previous year’s position to reach 115th place among the 2,337 cities polled worldwide.

The number of association conferences held in the city jumped from 14 to 23 between 2014 and 2015, an increase of about 64 percent. These figures mark a substantial gain in position among Europe’s second-tier cities, putting Tartu, which has a population of just 100,000, roughly on par with Antwerp, Cambridge, Liverpool and Gdansk.

According to the ECB, the improvements can be attributed to hard work by the city’s universities to attract scientific and educational conferences as well as to the successful efforts of the Tartu Conference Bureau´s ambassador programme, which was launched in 2010.

In this year’s rankings, released on May 17, Estonia came in 45th among the 219 contenders in the country rankings, making it the leader of the three Baltic countries. The capital, Tallinn, landed in 55th place among the world’s conference cities.

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