Published on : Tuesday, May 26, 2015
The sixth year of the Ambassador Awards Evening was held in Prague´s Žofín Palace on Wednesday 13 May 2015. During this gala evening, the Prague Convention Bureau awarded congress ambassadors who, aside from representing the Czech Republic in international professional associations, had successfully promoted Prague as a suitable venue for international congresses and, in view of this, had greatly facilitated the development of the convention industry in Prague last year. This prestigious event was organized under the auspices of Karla Šlechtová, Minister of Regional Development, and Adriana Krnáčová, Mayor of the City of Prague.
The following ambassadors were awarded during the evening:
In the category of Corporate Event of the Year 2014: Mary Kay.
In the category of Congress of the Year 2014 (up to 500 participants): Štěpán Holub for the 52nd Annual Congress of the International Association of Young Lawyers.
The Award of the Prague Congress Centre went to Professor Vladimír Beneš, M.D. for the 15th Congress of the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies.
In the category of Candidacy of the Year 2014 (this award is made for nominating a successful candidate for the venue of a congress to be held in the following years): Bohumil Seifert, M.D., Ph.D. for the European Conference of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA) to be organized in Prague in 2017.
In the category of Congress of the Year 2014: Karolína Gondková for the 26th Congress of the European Association for International Education.
The Award for the Contribution to Congress Industry was presented to Professor Jan Starý, M.D., Head, Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and University Hospital Motol, and Professor Julius Špičák, M.D., Head, Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague.
President of the Prague Convention Bureau, Sanjiv Suri, said at the award giving ceremony: “We are extremely pleased to award a number of individuals who have facilitated the development of Prague´s convention industry. In addition to this prestigious event, there is another cause for pride. According to statistics revealed by the ICCA three days ago, Prague is the world´s tenth most popular congress destination, which is a tremendous achievement for the Czech Republic as well as our organization. We attained our goal one year ahead of plan. Now we will concentrate our efforts on ranking among the top five destinations worldwide by 2020. We believe that the organisation of conferences and trade fairs under the Ambassador Programme will be a gateway to even higher competitiveness of the entire Czech Republic. It is congresses and conventions that are the only key to success of Prague and the Czech Republic in the long term, in the years 2030/2040. We are currently working out a strategy of competitiveness in collaboration with all principal partners, seeking to implement it soon.”
Moreover, there were words of praise from Minister of Regional Development, Karla Šlechtová: “I must say that congress tourism is one of really substantial contributions to the total volume of tourism in this republic. Take last year, for instance, when convention events and, more importantly, convention attendees rose in number. In comparison with the 2013 figures, the increase in the number of convention tourists amounted to eight per cent, which represents a tremendous achievement.”
Prague is almost ideally suited for holding congresses due to its geographical position, traffic infrastructure, attractive cultural heritage, and an abundance of hotel and presentation facilities, from historical to modern ones, and as a consequence its convention industry has been recently experiencing a great boom. In the year 2014 alone, 3,667 conferences attended by almost 545,000 participants were held in Prague. In addition, Prague enjoyed considerable achievements in the field of convention tourism last year. The city strengthened its international market position and became the ninth most popular convention destination in Europe. Nevertheless, the greatest achievement is Prague´s successful candidacy to host the 56th Congress of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) in 2017, when over 1,200 most influential congress and convention organizers from anywhere in the world will arrive in the Czech capital.