Set up by the northern port city`s hoteliers` association, the Thessaloniki Convention & Visitors Bureau (TCVB) is seen as a prototype which will encourage the formation of such bodies in other parts of Greece which regularly host conferences. Industry professionals have long called for the creation of such a bureau in Athens.
The TCVB will be a non-profit operation whose structure and staff will be based on the modern European model. Its mission will be to promote and develop the city`s convention infrastructure along with the wide range of services which are vital to the success of conference organisation. It will be overseen by the development ministry while funding will be provided by the Hellenic Tourism Organisation, the Central Macedonia self-administrative authority, Thessaloniki prefecture and the northern city`s council.
The TCVB will present the advantages of staging a conference in Thessaloniki in a flexible, package-style format involving a wealth of enterprises and other bodies such as museums, theatres, the new concert hall, consular services, travel agencies, airlines, medical centres, translation services, tour guides, stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, car hire offices and catering services.
It will be made up of four departments – conferences, business meetings, – incentive travel and educational trips – all of which should be operating by the end of the year.
Leading members of the industry have welcomed the TCVB and its members will include the city`s most prominent firms, said Vassilis Brovas, who heads the TCVB`s administrative committee.
He said the bureau`s main tool will be printed and online informational material on Thessaloniki`s convention-organising capabilities.
A presentation of the TCVB will be held at the Thessaloniki Hyatt Regency on February 16.
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