The International Telecommunication Union, which is based in Geneva, has chosen the Swiss city to host its prestigious Telecom World exhibition in 2009.This content was published on April 3, 2006 - 15:51
The city, in western Switzerland, faced fierce competition from Birmingham in Britain, Dubai and Paris to stage the event, which this year is taking place in Hong Kong.
Telecom World exhibitions are considered the flagship show of the telecoms branch and feature the latest technological trends.
ITU secretary-general Yoshio Utsumi made the announcement on Monday after an evaluation of all bids and based on a recommendation by the ITU Telecom board last month.
Six countries had originally applied to host the event but two withdrew their offer during the process.
"We were very impressed with the calibre of the offers received," Utsumi said in a statement.
"The Geneva authorities have made rigorous efforts to underline their support for the event and have provided the most cost-effective package for the exhibitors, participants and organizer alike."
The city's bid includes a means to control the management and price of hotel rooms through cost-control measures and the removal of any minimum-stay requirements.
The decision to award the 2009 event to Geneva was made on the basis of more than 20 criteria.
They include a financial offer covering both the overall costs to exhibitors including hotel accommodation and rental rates, and the fulfilment of a series of technical requirements.
These included the quality of the infrastructure, the suitability of the venue, as well as the overall attractiveness of the location assessed through an independently conducted survey of Telecom stakeholders.
The ITU said its decision also took into account the need to see the event move to another major information and communications technology market after Hong Kong.
It was attracted by the international character of Geneva as a hub for international organisations and businesses and by its geographic location, at the heart of Europe and equidistant from the markets of Asia and the Americas.
Fernando Lagraña, executive manager of ITU Telecom, said all four candidates had offered very attractive destinations for those attending the event.
"While only one can win, I am confident that the high quality of their offers and the tight race to select the host of World 2009 will encourage the other candidates to bid for future ITU Telecom events," Lagraña added.
swissinfo with agencies
The first ITU Telecom World event was held in Geneva in 1971.
The next such exhibition is being held December 4-8, 2006 in Hong Kong. It is the first time away from Geneva.
800-900 exhibitors from 50 countries and 2,500 participants at its forum are expected.
Telecom World 2003 in Geneva attracted more than 100,000 visitors and 900 exhibitors from 50 countries.
The event brought the city and surrounding region about SFr600 million in revenues.
Geneva authorities were taken aback when Hong Kong was chosen to stage this year's event.
The ITU pointed out that proposed costs in Hong Kong were 30-50% cheaper than in Geneva.
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