For the first time in its 45-year history, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) will hold its annual meetings in Greece at the Sofitel Capsis Hotel and “Marika Capsis 2000” Center on Rodos.
At a press conference prior to the event, Irini Varda-Capsis, chairperson of the Greek host committee, and Panagiotis Podimatas, committee vice-chairman, explained just how lucrative the conference tourism industry is by pointing out that the 2005 profits worldwide for international association meetings came to 7.4 billion dollars, and given current trends this amount will steadily increase every year.
Ninety-four international conferences were held in Greece last year, and the revenue was 165 million euro for 78,347 participants. Greece currently holds 22nd place in the industry, but with 113 conferences already booked for 2017, the country will rise to 15th place.
Ms Varda-Capsis and Mr. Podimatas pointed out that their bid to host the conference in Greece, won over bids from Austria, Turkey and Latvia. To date, the ICCA meeting has a record number of participants, with 800 delegates from 60 countries.
Both speakers stressed the importance of attracting more conferences to Greece because the financial returns are significant and the fact that these conferences are held during the winter months. The average conference lasts about four days with an attendance of about 600 participants, while the average amount spent per participant comes to about 2,000 dollars.