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TCB: Thessaloniki on a Steady Path in Conference, Meetings Industry

Photo source: Pixabay

Photo source: Pixabay

Greece’s northern city of Thessaloniki is slowly establishing itself as a global destination attracting international meetings and events, according to the Thessaloniki Convention Bureauu (TCB).

According to the newly released rankings from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the Greek Northern city hosted 25 conference events in 2017, ranking in the 59th place among other European conference city destinations.

Barcelona claimed first place in the ICCA city rankings by number of meetings in 2017 for the first time since 2004. With 195 meetings in 2017, Barcelona knocked last year’s number one Paris down to second place. Vienna held its previous position in joint second place with Paris, and Berlin and London are placed in fourth and fifth.

“It seems that Thessaloniki is stabilizing its position among the global conference destinations of the world and this proves that the rise in the number of conferences the city hosted last year and the year before wasn’t by chance,” TCB General Manager Efi Koudeli told GTP Headlines.

In the worldwide city rankings, Thessaloniki is in the 104th place based on the number of conferences it hosted last year.

“This is a satisfactory place for the city and we can be better slowly but steadily,” Koudeli added.

The annual ICCA country/territory and city rankings report is the most respected global comparison of destinations’ performance in attracting international meetings.

TCB President Yiannis Aslanis. Photo by GTP

TCB President Yiannis Aslanis. Photo by GTP

On his part, TCB President Yiannis Aslanis said that he expects Thessaloniki to record similar results this year as well. “This year we expect around the same number of conferences to be held in Thessaloniki as in the last two years there has been a general downward trend in the number of world and European conferences,” Aslanis told GTP Headlines.

According to data, the number of conferences held worldwide dropped to 12,558 in 2017 from 13,125 held in 2016.

Greece held 144 conferences in 2017

In the country rankings, Greece is the 31st place having held 144 conferences, dropping from 25th place in 2016. As it has done for the past two decades, the United States remains in the number one position with 941 meetings, 7 more than reported at this time in 2016. The cities in the top 3 have not changed, with Germany and United Kingdom remaining in second and third place after the U.S.A.’s first. France exits the top 5 and drops to sixth place with the rise of Spain and Italy one place to fourth and fifth.

In Europe, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain occupy the top positions, with Greece coming in the 19th place.

Thessaloniki’s place in ICCA’s rankings come from data compiled by TCB in January and February 2018 from bodies and professionals involved in Thessaloniki’s MICE industry and who aim to establish the city as a worldwide conference tourism destination.

It should be noted that ICCA’s report covers a narrow segment of the meetings industry, only including international association meetings that rotate between at least three countries, have a proven attendance of at least 50 participants and are held on a regular basis.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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