OPEN TO THE WORLD
The city of Lviv was established in the middle of 13th century by King Danylo who named it after his son Leo, which is why it was also called Leopolis in Latin. It became the capital of the principality of Galicia and at that time the city was already a multicultural hub, inhabited by Germans, Jews, Armenians, Polish, and Ukrainians, with each ethnicity having its own part of the city, the legacy of which can still be seen today. Given its geographical position it quickly became a hot spot for traders from east and west and by one of the versions, the word Galicia itself derives from the Greek word for salt, which was one of the most important trading goods back at that time, merchants coming from even as far as Venice to buy it. Another important trading good was wine, as one of the richest citizens at that time was the Greek wine trade Konstanty Korniakt, who alongside his private palace also built the first Greek-Catholic church in the city., It would eventually lead to the city becoming known as a city of 100 churches – a view from any Rooftop will show you its numerous church bell towers and domes and most of the city’s population (757,500 in 2016) are Greek-Catholics.
For the last 100 years, Lviv belonged to seven different states –Poland, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire, and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic, Poland, USSR, the Nazi Germany. The last decade before independence in 1991 was part of the Soviet era.
The Soul of Lviv
Ivan Franko remains one of the most important figures in Ukrainian history, being a poet, writer, multi-linguist and social activist, and made a huge impact on the national identity of Galician Ukrainians. Lviv citizens identify with the many artists, intellectuals and inventors that have marked out the city and they are the inspiration for the new generations representing the art and event scenes of Lviv that are also extremely important for tourism and the meetings industry.
Solomiya Krushelnytska, a 20th-century opera diva, and Franz Xavier Mozart, the youngest son of W.A. Mozart, are just two of those whose spirit is guiding the new movement. Oksana Lyniv, a renowned conductor, is a founder of the first Lviv MozArt Festival taking place at the end of August 2017.
Coffee, chocolate & beer
Coffee came to the city during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the first coffee house was opened in 1802 – and it is still going today! The story of beer is even older, as the first beer was brewed by the Jesuits in the 18th century, the same century that the first chocolate factory started up.
Even though all three of these products have a long history in Lviv, a little bit of creative effort was needed to give them their deserved position and made them marketing stars of the Lviv urban scene.
In recent years Andriy Khudo and his team joined forces in the«!Fest – Holding of Emotions» company and opened more than 20 bars and restaurants in Lviv, each of them based on a part of local history. Andriy likes to call them «emotional restaurants» as they include many surprise factors as part of their unusual atmospheres. Visiting any of these places will definitely provoke at least 10 WOWs!
The lack of classic congress & event venues can often be seen as an advantage and a playground for creative ideas. The old tram depot has this year been turned into a concert hall for 1,000 guests and will be one of the venues for the Lviv MozArt Festival. Soon after its first promotional concert it was also used as a quite unusual and unique conference venue. The former brick and glass factory, managed by «!Fest – Holding of Emotions», was turned into a venue for music concerts and a Beer Festival, and it is also becoming a base for start-ups.
As a more conventional special venue the famous Opera House, built in 1900, can be the right choice. The main hall, which accommodates 1,000 guests, is mainly occupied by the regular ballet and opera repertoire, but the Mirror Hall is an ideal historical venue for gala receptions.
Galician borshch, a deep red vegetable soup based on beetroot, is one of the most traditional dishes recommended by locals. Beetroot, in ancient times the food of poor people, can today be found on the menus of the noblest of restaurants. In this respect, it is essential to mention the Baczewski Restaurant, opened in 2015 in the very centre of Lviv. It is dedicated to the Baczewski family, known for the world’s first factory for the mass production of vodka. The ambiance of the restaurant takes one back to the golden era before the WW1, to the 1920 – 1930’s and when Lviv was a hotspot for the glamorous social life, casino, cabaret and Variete shows. Today you can once again enjoy this era through tasting the different homemade liqueurs and top quality cuisine. Soon after its opening, the Baczewski restaurant became No. 1 on Trip Adviser in Lviv.
WHAT'S HOT IN 2017
1. 8th East European Congress of Dental Implantation/April 2017
The congress was held at Arena Lviv Stadium and attracted more than 1,000 participants.
2. Leopolis Grand Prix /June 2017
An international festival of vintage cars, part of which is an international motor race in retro cars, a car parade, open-air exhibition and theatrical costume contest of Elegance.
3. ICCA Central European Chapter – Summer Meeting / 17-19th of August 2017
Dozens of industry professionals from about 15 different countries will come together to make new contacts, share ideas, and enjoy the charming western Ukrainian city of Lviv. The central theme of this year’s event is “Safety and Security of Our Meetings”.
4. LvivMozArt / 19-25th of August 2017
The LvivMozArt festival is a joint initiative of the Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv and the City of Lviv. The festival is created in honor of Franz Xavier Mozart, the youngest son of W.A. Mozart, who lived in Lviv for more than 30 years.
5. Lviv Coffee Festival / 21-24th of September 2017
Coffee unites people and the Lviv Coffee Festival is a place where local and international coffee roasters come together, observe, experiment with specifically selected equipment and accessories, absorb unique brewing methods with expert baristas, learn from each other and innovate. A must for all coffee lovers!
INDIVIDUAL GRADE EXPLANATION:
5 (4,50 – ) excellent meetings destination
4 (3,50 – 4,49) quality meetings destination
3 (2,50 – 3,49) recommendable meetings destination
2 (1,50 – 2,49) average meetings destination
1 (0,00 – 1,49) so-so
FINAL DESTINATION GRADE: 3.59/5
A. Natural and cultural factors
City with a hidden river
Lviv was created on the marshy ground where two rivers, one heading to the Black Sea and one to the Baltic, converged. One of these rivers, the Poltva, has been culverted and now runs under Svoboda (Freedom) Street, although a part of it can still be seen from the restaurant under the Opera House. After a huge fire in 1527, the city was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt. Rather than the former wooden houses, the new buildings were built of stone and mostly by Italian architects and craftsmen, which is why the city has the feeling of being in Renaissance Italy. Lviv is definitely an architectural gem, as you can easily find up to five different architectural styles on the same street, from original Renaissance and Baroque to neo-baroque, neo-renaissance and modern, such as Bauhaus and post-Soviet. Since 1998 the city has been listed as part of UNESCO’s world heritage.
B. General and transport infrastructure
With the new airport built in 2012, Lviv now opens its door to the world even more widely. A very modern and functional building, the airport was built with the vision of handling up to 50 incoming and outgoing flights per day. At the moment they are connected with 24 European cities, many of them by the national carrier, Ukrainian International Airlines. The airport’s great advantage is its vicinity to the city centre, which can be reached in just 15 minutes. Whilst traffic in the city centre could still do with some improvements, such as more pedestrian zones, cycling paths, and public transport, the new environmentally friendly trams that have been developed and built in Lviv are quickly replacing the old ones and the integration of an e-ticket is also just being started.
C. Tourist infrastructure
At the moment Lviv offers more than 700 rooms of 3 to 5-star hotel category in the city centre and in 2017 the number of rooms will be higher with the opening of the Intercontinental Hotel that will offer 120 rooms in the «Grand Hotel» Lviv building, one of the oldest hotels in the city. The year 2016 was a very successful one for Lviv, as the city recorded 2.6 million tourists. Although 60% are domestic, the number of foreign tourists is rising every year, with the city’s numerous festivals, street musicians and artists, restaurants and shops, large pedestrian zone and acceptable prices being the main attractions.
D. Meetings infrastructure
Lviv undoubtedly has a long tradition of organizing events, with the first international event, the Galician national exhibition that lasted over three months, already held in the city in 1894. Being a trading centre Lviv was also known for its rich social life and entertainment. The original Casino House, built in 1661 is now a House of Scientists and used as a venue for conferences, gala receptions and award ceremonies. There is also Lviv National University, one of the oldest in Central Europe that with its 33 faculties is a driving force behind the meetings industry. Many academic venues serve as conference centres with capacities of up to 600 seats. A plan for a modern congress centre is also being prepared by the City of Lviv, but until then the Lviv Arena stadium that was built for the EURO Football Championship in 2012 will serve as the largest congress venue ready to host the conference up to 1200 delegates. The 4* Premier Hotel Dnister is the biggest hotel with conference facilities and in 1999 it hosted the Presidential Summit for Central-European Countries. Its 165 rooms were completely renovated in 2017.
The aforementioned Intercontinental Hotel in the building of the ex-Grand Hotel and with meeting facilities for 200 guests will be an important new acquisition. There is also the Citadel Inn Hotel & Resort that used to be a fortress on the hill above the city, but that following a huge renovation will become a magnificent 5* hotel with panorama restaurant overlooking the city and with meeting rooms for up to 60 delegates.
E. Subjective grade
The passion of Lviv’s open-minded younger generation of highly educated professionals can instantly be felt when you talk to them. With their supportive mayor, Mr. Andriy Sadovyy, they also have the vision to become a city of high-profile festivals and events and thereby raise the recognition of the city.
Soon after the establishment of the Lviv Convention Bureau in 2013, they started the “Ambassadors Programme” to involve scientists from different fields in promoting Lviv as a MICE destination. The city is also open to supporting start-up projects and young entrepreneurs wanting to develop their ideas, which is a solid basis for retaining intellectual capital in the city.
F. Marketing buzz
The number of visitors to Lviv is quickly rising; in 2016 they welcomed 2.6 million tourists, the majority being from Ukraine but also with the number of foreign tourists increasing year by year. The current political conflict with Russia does not favour Ukrainian MICE business, but it encourages the Convention Bureau to turn their focus to the West and find new business opportunities. They are very active in ICCA, organising the ICCA CEC Summer Meeting in August 2017 and hosting MICE journalists and meeting planners to let them get to know their city.
|LVIV INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2016|
|Natural and cultural factors:||4.56|
|General and transport infrastructure:||4.41|
|Numbeo quality of life Index:||1.94|
|Global Peace Index:||3.13|
|ACI Airport Connectivity Index:||2.67|
MTLG INDEX / 2017 EDITION
- The number of 4* and 5* category hotel rooms: 913
- The number of 4* and 5* category hotels: 18
- The largest hall in the city (in m2): 1,300 sqm
- Banquet hall maximum capacity: 400
- Destination population: 728,350
- Maximum hall capacity in theatre style: 1,200
M – MEDIUM MEETING DESTINATIONS
Destinations than can host up to 1,200 congress attendees
BEST INCENTIVE IDEA
COMPARISONS WITH THE REGION
If Kiev is the heart of Ukraine, then Lviv is its soul. That’s certainly how it is seen by the locals. In 2009 Lviv became officially recognized as the Ukrainian capital of culture, reflecting its status as a creative and educational centre that impresses with its vibrant urban spirit. When you learn that every fifth resident of Lviv is a student, then this is not so surprising. The city has been at the crossroads of East and West for the past eight centuries and is today successfully using its rich history and tradition to create a pleasant and creative atmosphere for meeting planners and participants.
Pravda beer = true beer
Strolling along the Lviv streets, you won’t be able to miss the Pravda Beer Theatre, located in the heart of the city. Pravda is not just a restaurant or a brewery, but also a theatre – its interior was designed specifically with the «theatre» experience in mind. While you enjoy your craft beer and listen to the Pravda orchestra, you can watch the brewer go through the multiple steps of the brewing process, all of which will give you the true Lviv beer experience! Some of the most popular hits: Trump, Obama Hope, Pravda, Syla, Lvivska Vesna.