Athens is a vibrant city. Even so, the heart of the city was beating stronger on the 2nd and 3rd of October during the annual signature event of The City of Athens, the Travel Trade Athens 2017.
Ever since it came to life 5 years ago, the event showcases Athens and helps highlight its high professionalism in event organization and knowledge economy potential. Not one, not two but several key points made this event a must-attend in the tourism sector:
1. The City of Athens:
The Mayor of the City of Athens, Mr. Georgios Kaminis, kickstarted the the event on Monday morning.
He officially presented the ‘Emerging Cultural City of the Year’ Award that Athens had just won in the Leading Culture Destinations Awards for 2017, in London. The Mayor officially shared another piece of exciting news: Athens will be World Book Capital for an entire year, starting in April 2018!
2. The city’s future:
The record number 5 million visitors expected in Athens 2017 along with MoU that was co-signed on Monday between the City of Athens, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (FedHatta), , created a promising backdrop for this year’s Travel Trade Athens.
The importance of the event was also underlined by the presence of the city’s most important tourism stakeholders who were also major sponsors of the event: AEGEAN, the Greek National Tourism Organization, VISA Europe, Greece, Cyprus & Bulgaria, Athens International Airport and the Region of Attica.
3. The city’s business:
Under these favorable circumstances, the venue in the Hotel Grande Bretagne boasted from 3000 business meetings with a single aim: to promote Athens as a year round tourist destination. 100 foreign (hosted buyers) and 140 Greek tourism industry professionals came together over the two-day event to explore possible collaborations on the Athenian tourism product.
4. The city’s infrastructure:
All the way from 25 different countries globally, the delegates had the chance to visit every key facility of our attractive city break and Meeting Industry destination to witness first-hand the city’s cutting-edge versatile conference infrastructure that sets the Greek capital apart as a world-class meeting and convention destination.
Our guests took a peak into and enjoyed a sample of the hospitality of the city’s most prominent hotels, as well as the Megaron, The Athens Concert Hall. Even more, they explored the amazing possibilities that the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre has to offer to every kind of guest.
5. The city’s culture:
This year, the event had a strong cultural character. In collaboration with the Athens Culture Net of the City of Athens, the buyers got acquainted with the cultural, artistic, and modern personality of the city through an array of tours and presentations.
Guided tours at the city’s landmarks, such as the Acropolis, the National Theatre, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre housing the brand new National Library and National Opera, as well as the city’s museums – eg. The Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens- immersed the guests in a journey to the Athenian classical heritage and contemporaryvibrant culture.
A unique surprise expected our guests when the National Opera’s exquisite artists enchanted everyone with a special private performance.
6. The city’s essence:
Of course, one can only truly understand a city through its lifestyle and food. This is why we gave a memorable taste of our Athenian way of living to our guests.
From a cruise across the Athenian Riviera and a walk around Plaka- the area of the Acropolis- and its markets, to a cooking class of organic Greek food at the Margi farm
and a wine and oil tasting session at Yoleni’s Flagship store, the delegates sampled rich and unique experiences on offer.
And what would be the perfect way to close such an inspiring and fruitful 2-day event in Athens? With a celebration by the sea, of course. Buyers and suppliers were invited to enjoy an evening at Balux Prive in the Athenian Riviera as a thank you for making the 5th Travel Trade Athens such a great success!
After all, it’s the people that add value to everything. See you next year!.