Athens is making a dynamic comeback in the global tourism and conference scene, not only as a destination recovering in a time of crisis, but as a city claiming the place it deserves among the major universal host destinations of international meetings, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis said at the recent IMEX Politicians Forum in Frankfurt on Tuesday.
The IMEX Politicians Forum, held during the IMEX tourism fair, is the cornerstone of IMEX’s Politicians program and focuses on debate and knowledge-sharing of the revolutionary power of the meetings industry. A unique event in the industry, this year the Politicians Forum theme was How Do I Attract More Meetings and Events to My Destination?
According to the mayor, Athens did not give up during tough times and now “stars” as a destination hosting flagship international events such as the Documenta 14 exhibition and the international forum for Democracy organized by the New York Times.
He added that Athens faced a storm of negative international publicity during the 2010-2012 period but made a comeback through an integrated tourism strategy that highlighted the unique characteristics of the destination (culture, infrastructure, natural environment) and included targeted promotional marketing actions and the upgrading of the city’s services and infrastructure.
The Greek capital’s presence at IMEX 2015 was particularly reinforced by the results of the 2014 ICCA (International Congresses and Conventions Association) rankings for city destinations, which helps confirm a city’s status as a high quality international destination for business tourism.
According to the ICCA 2014 rankings, Athens climbed 20 places in the world ranking from 47th to 27th globally for hosting conferences and conventions.
The Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) was a co-exhibitor in Greek pavilion at this year’s IMEX fair. ACVB’s executives had over 60 meetings with hosted buyers and foreign professionals from almost all regions of the world.