Tuesday, 11 July 2017

GREECE: Athens Among 10 MICE Destinations 2017, As Luxury Tourism Grows By 10%

Athens, Greece, is included among the top 10 meeting and incentive destinations around the world, according to the 2017 Global Destination Index released recently by Global DMC Partners, the largest global network of independent Destination Management Companies (DMCs).

The data was compiled based on over 700 meeting and incentives that are operating in 2017 in over 500 destinations that Global DMC Partners represents.

Top 10 International Destinations

1 Mexico (Cabo + Riviera Maya)

2 Italy (Rome)

3 United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

4 Bahamas

5 Greece (Athens)

6 Spain (Barcelona + Madrid)

7 France (Paris)

8 Costa Rica

9 Austria (Vienna)

9 Switzerland.

Business meetings, incentive travel, conferences and conventions have a huge impact on the global economy. They help facilitate face-to-face interactions to build stronger and more profitable business relationships, and they contribute greatly to local economies and their sustainability, Global DMC Partners President Catherine Chaulet said.

Many of the 2017 destinations highlighted here have been popular for meetings and incentives for the past few years, however there are a few destinations that we are very excited to see rising in the ranks, such as Colorado, Greece (Athens), Costa Rico, Switzerland, and Cabo and Riviera Maya in Mexico, she added.

The 2017 Global Destination Index also highlights destinations that are rising in popularity based on meetings and incentives that are either booked or close to contracting within a particular destination in 2018.

Luxury tourism in Greece has increased by 10 percent while investment in the sector is also seeing growth, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said on Monday during a radio interview.

Speaking on the Athens News Agency’s 104.9 FM, the tourism minister said that a total of 142 applications for the licensing of new and existing four- and five-star hotels of over 300 beds, special tourism infrastructure projects and three luxury tourism resorts had been submitted to the ministry’s one-stop-shop service EFPATE in 2016.

She added that 251 proposals for hotel investments were submitted in Greece’s development bill by March.

Kountoura pointed out that Greece’s shift in attracting tourists from new markets such as China, the Middle East and India was accompanied by the strengthening of traditional markets such as Germany, England, Poland, Russia and America.

Luxury tourism grew by 10 percent, she said, adding that Greece is attracting more tourists that are spending more and choosing four- and five-star hotels.

Moreover, the minister said that thematic tourism and the shift to new markets are tools for extending Greece’s tourism season, which, last year started in April and ran until November, while the months of September, October and November were the best months of all time, with very important occupancy levels.

Minister Kountoura also focused on Northern Greece and Thessaloniki and said that they are now connected with more destinations and constantly attracting tourists.

She referred to the ministry’s actions in regards to attracting more flights through negotiations and agreements with low cost carriers, charter companies and tour operators, that lease and bring their own aircraft from the Balkans, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands and France, markets that in the past produced less demand for Northern Greece.

We made agreements for flights from England to Samos and connected Thessaloniki with direct flights, not only to capital cities, but also to other towns, she said, adding that the new international flights to Greece this year add up to some 2,000. I think these new flights will bring great growth on all levels, she said.


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