Athens is steadily evolving into a MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences & exhibitions) destination hosting 109 international conventions with 40,000 participants in 2022, said the Municipality of Athens this week.
According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Athens was ranked 8th as a top-performing, in-person meetings destination in 2022, up eight spots from 2021 and making it into the Top 10 in the ICCA’s annual “Country – and City – Rankings for 2022”.
Greece achieved 13th spot in the ranking presented at the global business events conference IMEX 2023 expo in Frankfurt last month.
Last year, Athens MICE events generated a total of 87 million euros reflecting the city’s potential to become one of the world’s leading conference tourism destinations.
According to the ICCA, on average a conference delegate spends around 2,162 euros during an event, four times more than a leisure tourist.
Commenting on the news, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said the city’s ranking – 8th spot in global conference tourism – is “recognition of a great effort made in recent years by the municipality to strengthen the destination in this demanding sector”.
Bakoyannis said the municipality’s Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA) has worked hard to introduce Athens to international markets and vie for conferences, which significantly strengthen the local economy and the sustainability of a destination year-round.
“The figures published by the ICCA for the city are indicative of the magnitude of this distinction which can only make us proud,” said Bakoyannis.
Earlier this month, the Greek Meetings Alliance (GMA) participated in the four-day IMEX Frankfurt, with the “Greek Mixology Experience” event as part of efforts to reach out to international markets. The GMA is a joint initiative between the Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers & Destinations Events Specialists (HAPCO & DES), the This is Athens – Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau (TCB) in collaboration with the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO).