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Annual PCO Congress To Be Held in Athens

The Second General Assembly and Annual Congress of the European Federation of the Associations of PCOs will take place at the Helexpo Congress and Exhibition Centre in Athens December 8th through the 10th.

Zacharias Kaplanidis, the program committee chairman and secretary general of EFAPCO, said “We will probably have ten national associations in membership by the time we gather in Athens, and many of our 60-plus associate members will also take part.”

The program committee includes former Greek Minister of Tourism, Nikolaos Skoulas, EFAPCO President Julio Abreu and IMEX’s Ray Bloom, who have created a program that deals with all of the issues faced by the MICE industry in Europe and throughout the world. Sessions will be held on an updated code of ethics for PCOs, the future of air transportation, expanding relationships with hotel chains and congress centres, and the evolution of core PCOs,” said Mr. Kaplanidis.

Other discussion topics are the EU’s approach to business tourism, the future of e-learning and how e-technology can support the meetings industry.

A wide range of international and European organizations will participate, such as the European Parliament, UNWTO, ICCA and IAPCO, as well as specialist exhibitions like IMEX and EIBTM, and the private sector including hotels and airlines.

Speakers will include, Jean Bergevin of the European Commission internal market and services, Andrea Libova of the Prague Convention Bureau, Dr. Paris Tsartas, professor of Tourism Development at the University of the Aegean, and Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, member of the European Parliamentary Committee on Transport & Tourism, Greece.

Session moderators will include IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom; Paul Kennedy, group exhibition director for meetings and incentive events, Reed Travel Exhibitions; Katarzyna Sobierajska, director of the Polish Convention Bureau; and Andre Vietor, president IAPCO from Barcelona.

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