Greek meetings industry forms historic alliance

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Athens Athens Photo Credit: David Tip on Unsplash

Three of Greece’s largest meeting industry organisations have formally agreed to work together to promote the country as a destination for ‘high quality conferences and events.’

The Greek Meetings Alliance (GMA) – made up of Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Hellenic Association of Professional Conference Organisers & Destination Event Specialists, and the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau – began to take shape during the pandemic.

It has already carried out a major survey into the Greek meetings industry and laid out its objectives for the coming year, which include profile-raising, education, sustainability, and growth.

The Mayor of the City of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, emphasised the importance of the meetings and events industry to the city’s strategy for the local economy.

“We believe deeply in the power of partnerships to expand the profile of Athens as an international destination for conferences and events,” he said.

"This is a strategic priority that is closely linked to urban development. It promotes the upgrade of city infrastructure and should be regarded as a tool that can improve the quality of life of residents.”

Speaking on behalf of the Hellenic Ministry of Tourism, deputy minister Sofia Zacharakis, said: “The goal is to build high quality and balanced tourism. Conference tourism plays a pivotal role in this development, bringing significant challenges that are also great opportunities. We are determined to utilize them.”

The president of the Hellenic Association of Professional Conference Organizers, Sissy Lignou, said: “The Greek Meetings Alliance sends a resounding message about the power of cooperation and the ability of Greece to become a leading conference destination. Starting from a vision born in the midst of a very difficult situation for the country and for Greek tourism, these three leading organisations began a series of joint actions that today we are formalizing through a memorandum of cooperation. Our association will contribute dynamically and with passion to this common path.”

The president of the Board of Directors of the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau, Yiannis Aslanis, said: “This cooperation captures the best characteristics of the meetings industry in Greece: adaptability, professionalism, creativity, cooperation.”

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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