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Athens congress widens global vision of EFAPCO December 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Tourism.

Athens has become one of the European congress industry’s ultimate meeting places of 2006, with representing international bodies like the World Tourism Organization, ICCA and IAPCO meeting up with  leading European professional congress organizers.

The 2nd General Assembly and Annual Congress of the European Federation of the Associations of PCOs took place at the original Olympic city’s Helexpo Congress and Exhibition Centre from December 7 to 9.

That event took on a new significance following the news that EFAPCO has become the first PCO-based body to be invited to join the WTO’s Affiliate Members Council.

The Council’s President, Prof Carlos Vogeler, made a keynote presentation during the congress on “The Evolution of Meetings and Business Tourism around the World.”

Some 30 speakers and contributors from all over Europe took part in an action-packed two-day program featuring 15 business sessions.

The event brought together a wide range of European, national and Professional organizations including the European Parliament, UNWTO, the European Commission and specialist exhibitions like IMEX and EIBTM, International associations including IAPCO, plus the private sector including hotels and airlines.

Burning issues being tackled include: the European Commission’s approach to business tourism, How PCO’s can improve their relationships with Convection Bureaus, and the explosive future of e learning and how e-technology can be harnessed by the meetings industry.

Session moderatos included IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom; Paul Kennedy Group Exhibition Director Meetings & Incentive Events, Reed Travel Exhibitions; former Greek Minister of Tourism Nikolas Skoulas; Andre Vietor, President IAPCO, from Barcelona; and Georgios Karamanos, Manager, Marketing & Public Relations, Athens International Airport.

Speakers range from Jean Bergevin, European Commission International market & Services DG on the Commission’s approach to business tourism to Jade Sebek from the Prague Convection Bureau and Julius Klosowski, General Director of Warsaw Voice a weekly newspaper dedicated to international businessmen working in the Polish capital, on market opportunities in new member countries of the EU. 

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