Last year Greece ranked 34th in the world rankings of conference and meeting destinations, having hosted only 114 conferences, according to data released recently by ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association. In regards to the rankings of conference city destinations, Athens fell to the 40th place with 52 events.
In 2011, Greece held the 28th place with 127 conferences and Athens held the 35th place with 55 conferences. Prior to 2011, Greece and Athens were in the 19th place.
According to the Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers (HAPCO), 2011 and 2012 were two of the most difficult years for the Greek convention market, “but in any case, the situation in the country and any economic crisis should not allow, let alone justify, this ranking.”
The association added that Greece’s current congress image was a result of the decisions made by state bodies and the indifference of the Government.
“Some must finally realize that Greece has long ceased to offer only ‘sun and sea,’ as there are also conferences, events and incentive travel,” HAPCO said.
HAPCO said private-public sector partnerships were essential for the “salvation of congress tourism” in Greece.