Countries to watch: GREECE

MTLG - COUNTRIES TO WATCH IN 2016

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WHERE TO GO
Greece lies at the meeting point of the three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. The country is mostly known for its ancient civilization, amazing landscapes and highly developed tourism. Greece remains one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, ranking in the world’s top 20 countries. Its capital city of Athens has a long history of hosting large scale events and conferences, such as the modern Olympic Games, and has thus earned its place among the best and most qualified event organisers in the world.

IN NUMBERS

  • Greece is one of the most mountainous countries of Europe, as 80% of the country consists of mountain and hills. The country also boasts 16,000 kilometres of coastline and around 6,000 islands and islets, scattered throughout the Aegean and Ionian Seas, most of them grouped in clusters that constitute the unique Greek archipelago
  • Approximately 25 million tourists per year visited Greece in the past couple of years, more than double the country’s entire population
  • Greece has 45 airports; 15 international state airports, 26 domestic state airports, and 4 municipal airports
  • Greece enjoys more than 250 days of sunshine or 3,000 sunny hours a year
  • There are currently 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece

TOP 5

Distinguished as one of the best conference centres in Greece, the hotel provides a ballroom which is the largest conference facility available in Athens, accommodating up to 2,500 persons.

The Creta Maris Hotel and Conference Centre is located in the seaside resort of Hersonissos, Heraklion Crete. There are a total of 68 conference halls in the Creta Maris Conference Centre, each of which is equipped with the latest technology.

Surrounded by palm trees and a lake offering magnificent views of the Aegean Sea, Capsis Hotel Rhodes & Convention Centre is located on the beachfront at Ixia Bay, five minutes from Rhodes Town. This is the largest Resort Convention Centre in Greece, with a total conference capacity of 8,000 delegates in a total of 100 meeting rooms.

The Megaron Athens International Conference Centre, a part of the Athens Concert Hall, is one of the finest and most technologically advanced conference venues in Europe. Situated in the city centre yet surrounded by its own extensive landscaped gardens, Megaron offers a stunning environment, exceptional aesthetics, cutting edge technology and unrivalled client service.

In the heart of the city centre, the Zappeion Conference and Exhibition Centre offers a number of social and professional events halls. A great addition are luxurious reception areas and the centre’s surroundings boasting over 200,000 m2 of gardens with meandering paths, fountains and over 70 neoclassical sculptures.

THE MOST ...

  • Continuously inhabited for over 7,000 years, Athens is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It is also the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, political science, Western literature, historiography, major mathematical principles and Western theories of tragedy and comedy.
  • The first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C. in Greece. The first Olympic champion was a Greek cook named Coroebus, who won the sprint race.
  • Greek has been spoken for more than 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest languages in Europe.
  • Greece has the lowest crime rate in Europe, and 2nd lowest in the world.

WHAT ELSE TO DO

  • If organising a conference, go “out of the box” and organise a floating conference. Floating conference tourism is an emerging trend in Greece. Participants from all over the world choose the clear-blue Greek seas and develop their topics in the most ideal surroundings: a ship slicing through the glassy waters.
  • Historical attractions are a must in Greece. When in Athens visit the Acropolis. Crowned by the internationally-renowned Parthenon, it manifests the unsurpassed grandeur of the Ancient civilization. Built entirely of marble, the temple used to house a giant statue of Athena, the city patron goddess. Also worth a visit are attractions like Delphi, Epidaurus Theatre, Mount Athos, Mount Olympus, etc.
  • One of the authentic cultural elements of this region is gastronomy, with a history dating back 4,000 years. The Greek word “symposium” literally means “drinking with friends”. The atmosphere in an ordinary Greek restaurant or ‘taverna’ is relaxing, simple and informal. The Greek culinary creations served are mostly based on local produce and meat. When in Greece one must try “moussaka”, “souvlaki” and “choriatiki”.
  • Sample Greece’s delicious national drink ‘ouzo’. It is a sweet, strong alcoholic beverage similar to a liqueur flavoured primarily with aniseed. Ouzo drinking is a cultural ritual that has its own special time and place, usually in late afternoon or early evening, and always accompanied by small plates of food.

ARE YOU KIDDIN’ ME?
In Greece, buying a new set of plates happens more often than in other countries. Breaking plates is in fact a Greek tradition that you can observe at Greek restaurants or wedding receptions. Usually, breaking plates in praise of a musician or dancer is considered a part of “kefi” – the expression of emotion and joy. A plate might also be broken when two lovers part, so that they might be able to recognize each other by later matching the two halves, even if many years pass before they meet again.

SOURCEKONGRES MAGAZINE
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A long time congress tourism addict, Gorazd has many years' experience in creating, planning and organizing large congress projects in cooperation with some of the most respected institutions in the region. He is an accomplished advisor for marketing success in corporate events and congress centers and the owner of Toleranca marketing agency. Gorazd has established himself as the founder and editor of Kongres Magazine and the co-creator of Conventa Trade Show.

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