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Athens targets international market with ‘know-how and financial resources’

The city of Athens is rising in the ranks of the world’s top convention tourism destinations, currently 26th in the ICCA annual report.

We shall seize the momentum and attract small and medium size international conferences over the next period. The timing is optimal: our team is growing with the right tools in hand. We have the know-how and the necessary financial resources to set up our international networking and outreach”, Alexis Galinosmanaging director of Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA) said.

One of the reasons highlighted for Athens being selected is in attracting more medium and large-scale conferences. This is due to working with the local industry’s knowledge and expertise to add value to events.

Galinos spoke about developing strategies in a fast-moving conference market at the 9th HAPCO (Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organisers) conference, which took place at Radisson Blu Park Athens Hotel in April.

The forging of relationships between different organisations such as This is Athens & Partners, a public-private pairing led by the city of Athens, has been a major boost. This brings together stakeholders like the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), AEGEAN, the Athens International Airport, Lampsa S.A., Lamda Development, and Ioniki Hotel Enterprises S.A.

Issues discussed at the conference included ways of encouraging millennials interest in conference tourism; innovation and enhancement of services provided by the Greek city; emerging international trends in business and conference tourism; potential growth of the meetings, conventions and incentive market in Greece; promotion of Greece as an all-year destination for meetings and conventions.

The Greek capital is keen to keep up the momentum gained from being named the EU’s European Capital of Innovation 2018 title, winning a prize of €1 million.

“Athens stands out as an example that a city facing many challenges can achieve great things. Through innovation, Athens has found new purpose to turn around the economic and social crisis. It is proof that it’s not the difficulties but how you raise yourself above them that matters,” Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said.