Thessaloniki has been placed among the Top 50 International Convention Cities, according to the official rankings for 2021 released recently by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA).
Thessaloniki also ranked 35th in Europe from 39th place in 2019.
It should be noted that in 2020, for the first time in its history, the ICCA did not publish any data for the congress and meetings industry due the severe impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on the entire MICE market.
The 2021 rankings signal the recovery of the MICE industry, according to an announcement by the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau (TCB).
ICCA’s data for Thessaloniki
According to the ICCA data, of the 28 conferences that were scheduled to take place in Thessaloniki in 2021, eight were postponed and will take place at a later date, while only one was cancelled.
Meanwhile, 15 scheduled conferences were conducted online (virtual and hybrid) and four conferences took place with physical presence – as initially scheduled – during the August – September period.
“During this difficult year, Thessaloniki managed not only to maintain but also to improve its position in the international conference market… This success belongs to the city’s professionals who invested money and human resources to train and respond to the market’s needs, as well as to offer – with the use of technology – new products,” TCB President Yiannis Aslanis said.
In 2022 the TCB will continue to work towards:
– enhancing the position of Thessaloniki as a conference destination in northeastern Europe
– strengthening the local conference community and bringing together businesses, organizations and local authorities
– creating signature events that will focus on the dynamic promotion of Thessaloniki in select markets.
Athens is 3rd international convention city
Apart from Thessaloniki, the ICCA report for 2021 also includes Greece’s capital, Athens in the 3rd spot both on an international and European level.
Vienna tops the ICCA cities list with Lisbon in second place followed by Athens, Singapore, Barcelona and Madrid.
ICCA’s country report ranks Greece 17th globally and 12th in Europe.
“Greece’s success in 2021 is definitely the result of the country’s successful handling of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the TCB said.
According to the bureau’s announcement, the top international convention countries are the US, Spain, Germany, France and Italy.
In Europe, top countries are Spain Germany, France, Italy and the UK.