TALLINN - Launched last year, the City of Tallinn mechanism of grants for international conferences supports 28 conferences between the beginning of October this year and the end of April 2024, with a budget of 275,000 euros.
Deputy Mayor Joosep Vimm said in a press release that Tallinn is a positively surprising tourist destination, which foreign tourists who come here for the first time are very likely to visit again.
"Our cafes and restaurants are very highly rated. Conference tourists bring jobs to the accommodation, food service and retail sectors. In addition, international events allow first-time visitors to Tallinn to be inspired and return with their friends and family. More than in the past, we will focus on low-season events to help balance the seasonality in the tourism sector," the deputy mayor said.
It is estimated that some 7,000 foreign delegates will participate in the conferences sponsored under the measure.
In 2024, meetings organized by a university, a research, professional or hobby organization or other non-governmental organization to discuss their field or topics and to exchange information and innovative ideas will be sponsored. Meetings attended by employees, clients, cooperation and/or business partners of the same company, just like study trips, training events, competitions, fairs, work meetings, information days, exhibitions, festivals and hackathons are not considered a conference.
The conferences sponsored under the current measure must take place between Oct. 1 and April 30. The program must last for at least two consecutive days, with the content part lasting at least four hours. Foreign participants must come from at least two countries and the number of foreign participants must be at least 75 for the January, February and March conferences and at least 120 for the April, October, November and December conferences. The beneficiary is expected to organize the conference in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way possible.
Tallinn boasts the highest score in the Eastern Europe category in the sustainability index of international destinations.
"The ability of our companies to offer spaces, accommodation and catering options for sustainable events makes Tallinn more attractive to organizations that support sustainability, which in turn helps also the capital city to learn and develop in this domain," Vimm said.
The requirement to hold the conference in a sustainable fashion guides organizers to think through these topics, and the city's own requirements for events and extensive awareness raising among conference organizers will help in this regard. Latitude59 and Impact Day stood out this year with their eco-friendly codes of practice.
The grant is capped at 30,000 euros per conference, and eligibility will be assessed on the basis of three criteria: the number of foreign participants, the duration of the conference program and the month in which the conference takes place. The grant can equal up to 60 percent of the total eligible costs incurred by the applicant.