Thessaloniki beats out Greece’s capital and takes the initiative to establish the country’s first convention and visitors bureau. Its role will be to promote conference tourism to northern Greece.
Industry professionals in the Athens area have long called for the creation of such a bureau in the capital but couldn’t seem to get together with the government sector to create such a promotion tool.
The Thessaloniki Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, set up by the northern port city’s hoteliers’ association, is considered a prototype that will encourage the formation of such bodies in other parts of Greece that have the infrastructure to host conferences.
The bureau is tol be a non-profit operation and its structure is to be based on the modern European model. Its mission will be to promote and develop the city’s convention infrastructure and the services that are vital to the success of conference organisation. It will be overseen by the development ministry while funding will be provided by the Hellenic Tourism Organisation, the Central Macedonia self-administrative authority, Thessaloniki prefecture and the northern city’s council. The bureau will be made up of four departments – conferences, business meetings, – incentive travel and educational trips – all of which should be fully operational by the end of this year.