Thessaloniki, Greece, has officially been announced the host of the ICCA Joint Mediterranean and UK/Ireland Chapter Summit for 2012 during the ICCA Mediterranean Chapter Meeting which was held on 23 May in Frankfurt.
As a result of the successful cooperation of the two ICCA Chapters in Nice, France, in February this year around the issue of "Harnessing City and Country wide events for Developing Meetings Industry Business", the cooperation will be repeated in 2012 and more European-based Chapters have expressed interest in joining in.
For 2012’s Summit, 8 destinations submitted bids. After shortlisting Milan and Thessaloniki and rigorous site inspections at both destinations, the announcement was made in favor of Thessaloniki at the Chapter mid-year meeting before IMEX 2011.
Miranda Ioannou, ICCA Mediterranean Chapter Chair and ICCA Board Member, noted: "The Chapter Summit is an opportunity to kick-start a series of key, short events targeted at raising awareness about the impact of the Meetings Industry for politicians and business leaders in the Mediterranean countries. We expect that these will lead to the Chapter Summit in a more effective way than ever before, culminating to a powerful message to the Mediterranean region and Europe-Middle East as well. It is our intention to forge synergies with destinations close to Thessaloniki to enable business development to take place before-during and after the Chapter Summit, in addition to the great cooperation and business exchange we have already put in place with the UK & Ireland Chapter. We also hope we will be able to finalize discussions with other nearby Chapters to benefit from such cooperation as well".
"We will be very pleased to be hosting this event in our city and will do our utmost to help spread the word about the Meetings Industry and engage all our stakeholders and all stakeholders in the region", said the Thessaloniki CVB President Mr Yiannis Aslanis on hearing the news late on Monday.
"We have the full support of the industry, the politicians and business leaders in our region to make this event a success and showcase our city in the best possible way to meetings industry professionals", said Despina Amarantidou, head of Artion Conferences and Events, that submitted the bid jointly with the Thessaloniki CVB.
On another note, the ICCA Mediterranean Chapter members have been invited to join the UK & Ireland Summer Debate in Dublin mid-July this year to continue the business development which started in Nice. Both Miranda Ioannou and James Rees, Chair of the UK & Ireland Chapter have expressed their satisfaction with the outcome of the cooperation so far and look forward to developing it further.
The dates for the ICCA Joint Mediterranean and UK/Ireland Chapter Summit for 2012 will be announced shortly and are expected to be end of January 2012.