[pullquote]Athens has proactively taken advantage of the media attention and managed to turn the exposure positive by promoting it’s unique selling points, services and experiences[/pullquote].Q: What trends do you think we will see in meetings and events in your city in the next 12months?
Over the past two years, Athens has experienced positive growth in leisure and business travel. In 2014, Athens climbed 20 places in the ICCA ranking, and was recognized as one of the best city destination performances throughout the international meetings market.
Athens is making a comeback to the international tourism and travel market, experiencing an average 23% increase in the number of foreign visitors in 2015.
We expect this upward trend to continue, as Athens offers great value for money, there are new hotels and new venues opening and more international events taking place, the rest of 2016 and 2017 promises to be an exciting year for Athens and visitors will not be left disappointed.
Q: How is your city positioned as a meeting destination today and what are its positive attributes that are often overlooked?
Athens is an ideal MICE destination. A modern European capital city which has been placed on an upward trend, establishing its place again as a popular tourism and convention destination, on international level.
A dynamic, safe and hospitable destination for business tourists that, with new high-end convention facilities and hotels, a fascinating entertainment scene and a state-of-the-art transportation network, can accommodate the needs of the most demanding of visitors. MICE is a key market sector for Athens as a destination and central axis of the City’s strategy towards recovery and growth.
Athens is the European Metropolis at the crossroads of three continents. A city endowed with year-round sunshine, the European capital city with the most blue flag beaches, a booming gastronomic scene and warm, hospitable people. In addition, world class cultural heritage attractions and the longest archaeological promenade in Europe, Athens is a city which offers authentic experiences, enchanting tours and engaging in action packed activities, both within and beyond the city limits all year round.
Q: How hard is it to get the message out about all that your city has to offer?
Athens has faced several challenges the few last years, having experienced some negative publicity, due to economic instability, political issue and the recent humanitarian issues.
These have not changed its destination profile and product.
Athens has proactively taken advantage of the media attention and managed to turn the exposure positive by promoting it’s unique selling points, services and experiences.
We rely heavily on visitor and user experience, as we know that anyone visiting the city for business or for leisure is certain to have a positive and memorable experience, and will certainly talk, blog and share their experiences.
Q: How do you see relationship between the meetings industry and the tourism industry?
The City of Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with key tourism providers and partners have integrated Tourism policies and practices into the City’s main development Strategy to support and boost the visitor’s economy.
These two different sectors interact and interweave easily as the experience of leisure visitors helps build the City’s good fame as a meetings destination and vice versa (business travelers who have the chance to experience Athens on their social events or free time, advise they plan to return as tourists.
Both sectors complement each other.
Q: Tell us something that might surprise meeting planners about your city?
Surrounded by stunning seas and mountains, Athens is the only European Capital with 15 Blue Flag beaches, Marinas and a 50klm long Athenian Riviera. The islands off the coast of the Argosaronic Gulf are ideal one-day getaways. Aigina, Hydra, Poros, and Spetses are very popular destinations
The City of Athens is a true paradise for tourism and a large journey into history and art. This travel-friendly city is filled with gems. Athens is a city which offers authentic experiences, enchanting tours and action packed activities.
Athens, blessed with the unique heritage of being the cradle of democracy, of dialogue and the structural characteristics of Western culture and civilization, is in a unique geopolitical position in the Mediterranean, acting as a bridge between West and East.
The City of Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau (the ACVB) is the official MICE board of the City that over the years has succeeded in building and delivering on the promise of Athens being a dynamic, safe and hospitable city for business tourists.
Our in-depth knowledge of facilities, services, as well as events that take place in our city, enables us to provide you with tailor made solutions – an absolutely necessary factor for the success of any event.