Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas announced a plan on Thursday for the development of meetings and conference tourism (MICE), during the 10th Panhellenic Conference of the Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers (HAPCO) held in Athens.
“The development of conference tourism will be a key part of the country’s strategic tourism development plan for the next decade,” Konsolas said.
As underlined by Konsolas, the tourism ministry’s strategy includes establishing a metropolitan conference center; revising the institutional framework for the organization of conferences to include certification, rules and conditions, and a supervisory board; launching a conference register for the collection of statistics, to secure public revenue, and to ensure fair competition.
The tourism minsitry is also looking to introduce tax incentives for investment in conference tourism; a revised regulatory framework for the approval of medical conferences; linking conference tourism with city travel; and upgrading tourism education to include courses in conference management.
Deputy Minister Konsolas added that the tourism ministry plans to cooperate with the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) and HAPCO for promotional activities regarding conference tourism.
According to Konsolas, travelers visiting Greece to attend a conference spend 5.5 times more than the common tourist. Greece is ranked 15th among EU countries in conference tourism with a 2.5 percent share of the MICE market, which Konsolas said the ministry wants to increase.