Athens ranks among the top 20 destinations for meetings and events globally

Climbing to its highest ranking ever at the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Annual Report 2019, Athens ranked as the 17th top destination worldwide for association meetings, moving up seven positions from its 24th position in 2018.

This is Athens-Convention & Visitors Bureau is an active member of ICCA whose report and data come in a very crucial time for tourism due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The report showcases an equally dynamic presence of Athens in the European associations’ meetings market, with the Greek capital rising to 12th place for 2019, from its 16th place the previous year.

In total, 107 international association meetings were held in Athens in 2019 with 43.520 participants in comparison to 90 meetings held in 2018 with 36.841 participants. The average total expenditure from all meetings held in Athens in 2019 rose to approximately 87,8 million euros with the average expenditure per delegate per meeting calculated at 2.023€.

With its remarkable rise in the international meetings industry, Athens is also helping boost Greece upwards in the global meetings sector. Greece has climbed four spots since 2018, now holding the 21st position in the global ICCA rankings for 2019, with 202 international associations meetings. In the European map, Greece rose to the 13th place compared to the 14th in 2018. Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom are in the top 4 positions in Europe.

“In these challenging times for tourism, the data published for Athens makes us look to the future of the city with a heightened positivity. The City of Athens, through the Athens Development & Destination Management Agency and This is Athens-Convention & Visitors Bureau, will keep working hard to strengthen its position in the global map of the meetings industry. We will continue to invest in a steady and dynamic pace in the promotion of the destination and the city’s development with international conventions, corporate meetings and incentives.”, states Evangelos Vlachos, CEO of Athens Development & Destination Management Agency.

According to the analysis of the data derived from ICCA for the past decade (2010-2019), the following main conclusions are derived for Athens as a meetings destination:

  • Athens is a top choice for international association meetings for subjects around the medical sciences (23,4%), technology (13,4%), science (9,2%) and industrial matters (8,5%).
  • In 10 years’ time, the number of the meetings participants held in Athens has almost doubled: from 22.545 in 2010, they rose to 43.520 in 2019.
  • The majority of conferences in Athens are held in the months of October (18,7%), September (16,8%), May (11,2%), April (10,3%) and June (10,3%).