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Paris strengthens the potential of its attractiveness in support of congress professionals
On December 8th, the Chairmen and Managing Directors of some 15 hotel groups representing 475 hotels, more than 60,000 guest rooms all categories taken together in Paris and the Paris region, will come together under the aegis of the Paris City Council, the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau to sign the Charter for the hosting of major professional events in Paris.

This Charter seeks to attract to Paris major events, bringing together more than 1,000 congress attendees over several days, initiated by non-profit making organizations (learned societies, federations, professional associations, etc.). The hotel group signatories undertake to offer specific and advantageous conditions for this type of event, as much in terms of deposits, cancellations, quotas of rooms guaranteed several years in advance in accordance with the procedure decided on by the contracting associations, as in terms of the transparency of the rates presented (expressed inclusive of tax, definitive or with details of the rate of increases, inclusive of breakfast or not, etc.). Hotel group signatories of the Charter for the hosting of major professional events Accor Hospitality, B&B Hôtels, Best Western, Choice Hotels Europe, Concorde Hotels & Resorts, Disneyland® Paris - Business Solutions, Exclusive Hotels, Hilton Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Inter-Hotel, JJW Hotels & Resorts, Louvre Hotels, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Rezidor Hotel Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

More generally, the signing of the Charter for the hosting of major professional events in Paris is the culmination of a whole commitment process on the part of the sector and the local authorities. This process began in March 2006, when the Chairman of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, Jean-Claude Lesourd, brought together professionals and institutions to form a working group to build a common dynamic. It continued on November 10th of the same year, when the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, sought to reaffirm his wish that Paris should maintain its position as the world’s leading destination for the hosting of association congresses.

Today, the signing of the Charter, which also brings together the big hotel groups, marks the successful outcome of this work.

- The Paris City Council gives a personalized welcome (welcome messages in the City, letters, receptions in the salons of the City Hall, etc.) to the major events of associations, and, in particular, those with a theme dear to the City: prevention of cardiovascular illnesses, new technologies, etc.

Signatories of the Charter: Christian Sautter, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Employment, Economic Development and International Attractiveness and Jean-Bernard Bros, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Tourism and New Local Media.

The Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with the Paris City Council, joins the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau in ensuring the smooth running of the event, from the bid stage to the welcoming of the participants.

Signatories of the Charter: Jean-Yves Durance, Vice Chairman of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry in charge of Congresses and Trade Fairs and Geneviève Roy, Chairman of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Paris Delegation.

– Through its Convention Bureau and in collaboration with Parisian professionals, the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau accompanies and advises associations at every stage of their events and passes on the initiatives of operators of the destination: RATP congress transport pass, offers of event welcome services (at Paris airports and train stations), Viparis and its welcome pack (partners: Aéroports de Paris (Paris Airports Authority), Comité Régional du Tourisme d’Île-de-France (Île-de- France regional tourism board), Comité des expositions de Paris, Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Paris City Council and the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau).

Signatory of the Charter: Jean-Claude Lesourd, Chairman of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Through this unprecedented federation of a whole industry, Paris has brought together all the assets for attracting major association events against a backdrop of very keen international competition. With the establishment of a charter involving an important number of hotels, the Paris Convention Bureau puts the final touch to a charm offensive for the destination; the latter is henceforth well-equipped to give global, precise and detailed propositions to associations, bringing together, several years in advance, the offer of the different destination professionals in bids for Paris.

Note: association congresses are a strategic market and generate 10% of business tourism overnights, thanks to some 600,000 participants welcomed on the occasion of 900 events, of which 130 of them draw more than 1,000 congress attendees each year. In addition to a financial contribution with high added value – the average amount spent by a congress attendee is €321 per day, 50% more than that of a leisure tourist –, the congresses ensure the global influence of fields of excellence, are impervious to economic hazards and guarantee a long-term activity thanks to a decision taken two to ten years in advance.