About 50 decision-makers and the key people in the global conference industry were hosted at the International Conference Center – Binyanei Hauma and were impressed by its size and spaciousness and its extensive experience in the hosting of significant international events.
This is a very important group for the Israeli conference industry, which was invited to Israel by the Jerusalem Conventions & Visitors Bureau. The group included representatives from the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Japan, India, South Korea, Kenya, South Africa, Italy, Austria, Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Turkey and Russia.
According to Mira Altman, CEO of the International Conference Center – Binyanei Hauma: "This is a very important activity for the Jerusalem Conventions & Visitors Bureau. Happily, after many years of our involvement, and the formulation of a joint strategy with the Jerusalem Development Authority to establish a bureau in Jerusalem, it has been set up under the management of Ilanit Melchior. The visit gave us exposure to key decision-makers and will enhance our marketing efforts on the world conference map so that we can host large global conferences."
According to Ms. Altman: "Regrettably, we are far from realizing our potential in the field of international conferences. According to data from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), a world body that collects information related to international conferences, Singapore and afterward Seoul haven taken first place over the last several years among the cities of Asia and the Middle East in the hosting of international conferences. Jerusalem is ranked only in the 4th decile.”
Ilanit Melchior, in charge of tourism at the Jerusalem Development Authority noted that: "Members of the group represent leading global conference organizations and associations. I'm optimistic. From my standpoint this is only the first stage in the work of the Jerusalem Conventions & Visitors Bureau.”
The conference industry has a broad economic contribution to make. On average, income in Israel from the hosting of a single international conference with 1000 participants is about NIS 12 million. This revenue is divided among lodging facilities, transport and travel, gifts and shopping, and entertainment activities.