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Athens Surpasses London As A Convention Destination

Athens moved up 10 places-from 25th to 15th-in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) global city ranking for 2008.

According to data from the ICCA, Athens held 72 conferences last year–an increase from 54 conferences held in 2007.

The Greek capital, which shares the 15th place with Buenos Aires and Istanbul, passed London, which fell to the 19th place from the 17th in 2007.

The ICCA rankings cover meetings organised by international associations that take place on a regular basis and rotate between a minimum of three countries.

This year the ICCA data identified 7,475 events that took place in 2008, a rise of approximately 800 over 2007.

The improvement of Athens” position boasted Greece”s position in the country rankings as it now occupies the 19th place with 123 conferences from 21st place it held in 2007.

Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis expressed his satisfaction on the Greek capital”s ranking, which “did not happen by chance.

“The City of Athens” decision to establish the Athens Tourism and Economic Development Company and the Athens Convention Bureau, a move which sought to boost tourism-particularly convention tourism that operates on a yearly basis-has been justified following this result,” he said.

In this year”s ICCA city rankings Vienna shares the top with Paris as the most popular destination for international association meetings (139 conferences in 2008) followed by Barcelona (136), Singapore (118) and Berlin (100).

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