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Shipping supports Greek Economic Growth

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Athens set to host largest international business visitor contingent for 2012

At a time when Greece is facing the serious challenge of implementing the structural reforms necessary to re-energise its economy, Posidonia will highlight the contribution that Greek shipping already makes to the national economy and underline its future potential.

Reports that the Greek-owned fleet is transporting such a large percentage of EU and world trade, and that Greek shipowners are leading the world with their newbuilding orders, are the success stories that will be told during Posidonia Week, projecting some much needed good news about the achievements of Greeks internationally.

The collective might of Greek shipowners, who last year alone invested a total of US$ 8.5 billion on newbuildings, will be one of the main reasons for the visit to Athens this summer of thousands of maritime, finance and trade sector professionals from around the world, who will participate in and attend the Posidonia Exhibition and its many business and social programmes, to be held at the Metropolitan Expo from June 4 – 8.

“In the decade between 2000 and 2010, Greek shipping contributed to the Greek economy a total of Euros 140 billion, or half of the country’s public debt as it stood in 2009. Posidonia has followed this trend and has grown from strength to strength ever since its inaugural event more than 40 years ago establishing itself as the world’s most prestigious shipping forum eagerly anticipated every two years by the international maritime community, ” said Theodore Vokos, Project Director, Posidonia Exhibitions.

The state-of-the-art venue will host more than 17, 000 people from nearly 90 countries from every corner of the world during a week-long celebration of business activities ranging from networking, deal-making, product launches and conferences. Beyond the obvious benefits to Greek shipping and the image and reputation of the country as a destination for major international trade events, the local economy of Athens expects a windfall of some Euros 50 million to be generated throughout the Posidonia week by exhibitor and visitor spending on hotels, restaurants, hospitality events, stand constructions, transportation of exhibits etcetera.

Additional revenue for SME businesses in the Athens region this year is expected through Posidonia’s rich calendar of sporting events, such as the Lloyd’s Register-sponsored sailing regatta known as The Posidonia Cup, the Posidonia Soccer Tournament, which attracts more than 250 players, and the introduction of the first Posidonia Golf Tournament, sponsored by Thenamaris and Costamare, which is hoped to become a staple feature of the event. Furthermore, the impressive list of conference and seminar to be held at Posidonia 2012 is expected to attract additional finance and sea trade professionals from the major maritime markets around the world, increasing demand for hotels and visitor services, providing an important boost to Greece’s tourism industry.

Posidonia, the world’s most prestigious shipping trade event, held in Greece every two years, contributes a significant slice of the country’s Meetings Incentives Conferences Exhibitions (MICE) sector.

“Apart from the obvious benefits to the Greek shipping industry in terms of business development, international exposure and networking, Posidonia is a major revenue stream for the tourism industry and related sectors. With an average stay of four nights per visitor and an average spend of Euros 500 per night each of the expected 10, 000 international business travellers who will join us at the event will spend roughly Euros 2, 000 per stay. That’s Euros 20 million going to SME businesses, taxis, retail outlets in Athens and the immediate vicinity excluding additional revenues generated by those visitors who extend their stay for a few days to enjoy short breaks on the Aegean islands, ” Mr Vokos said.

 “As preparations are underway, all floor space has been sold out to traditional Posidonia exhibitors as well as first-timers. The move to the new 45, 000 square-metre venue and increased exhibitor demand, together with the expanding list of conferences and sporting events, are the factors that will combine to make the 23rd edition of Posidonia the biggest ever in the event’s history, ” he said.

Posidonia 2012 is sponsored by the Greek Ministry of Development, Competitiveness and Shipping, the Municipality of Piraeus, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Union of Greek Shipowners, the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee, the Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners’ Association and the Association of Greek Passenger Shipping Companies.

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