NATIONAL INSTITUTION FOR THE ORGANISATION OF EXHIBITIONS, CONGRESSES AND CULTURAL EVENTS

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Press Conference for the Chocolate Factory and Museum

The 'Choco Factory and Museum', which will operate for six months at Thessaloniki Exhibition Centre, starting on 6 September, the inauguration date of the 79th TIF, is expected to welcome over 500,000 visitors.

There is already tremendous interest both in Greece and in neighbouring countries in visiting this impressive theme park being built by TIF-HELEXPO on its premises.

Within this framework, travel agencies from the Balkans are preparing to present tourism packages for visiting Thessaloniki and the 'Choco Factory and Museum', while schools from Northern Greece are expressing their interest in visiting the city and touring this theme park.

As the President of TIF-HELEXPO, Mr Tassos Tzikas, noted during a Press Conference today, the most important element in the progress of the national exhibition agency is the fact that the Fair is once again becoming established as a point of reference in the minds of the people of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece and, by extension, the entire country.

Furthermore, he stressed that the 'Choco Factory and Museum' is a complete theme park with educational and recreational content, being constructed according to the latest safety specifications and can stand shoulder to shoulder with similar international constructions.

On his side, the Managing Director of TIF-HELEXPO, Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis, noted that the operation of the theme park during the six months it will be welcoming visitors will be enriched by a rich schedule of parallel events, depending on the time period (Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc.).

At the same time, he noted that it is being considered to extend its six months of operation and to examine the potential of transporting the 'Choco Factory and Museum' project, which is exclusively owned and produced by TIF-HELEXPO, to other cities, since there is interest in both Greece and the Balkans, in general.

The Vice-President of TIF-HELEXPO, Mr Kostas Dimou, stated that the creation of this theme park is fully in line with the company's plans for the development of new activities.

Mr Michalis Filippidis, the group brand manager of the ION chocolate industry, the Grand Sponsor of the theme park, stated that this is the first time the company decided on such a major sponsorship in such a brief period of time and that, by way of indication, ION initially supplied the theme park with, among other things, 5 tonnes of chocolate (mainly couverture).

The theme park is also sponsored by the PAPADOPOULOU biscuit and bakery industry, whose contribution to the success of the 'Choco Factory and Museum' by providing quality products at the biscuit workshop was underlined by the CEO of TIF-HELEXPO, Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis.

Ms Anastassia Nazidou, the Director of the Central & Eastern Macedonia and Thrace branches of the National Bank of Greece noted that the Bank and TIF-HELEXPO share common fields of interest, such as the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Ms Ioanna Tziriti, the marketing supervisor of the ISOMAT AVEE construction materials industry, expressed her enthusiasm about the fact that the company she represents is sponsoring the 'Choco Factory and Museum' project, whose quality specifications are consistent with the philosophy of ISOMAT.

Mr Dimitris Hatziyiannis, the marketing director of the KRI-KRI dairy industry, stressed that his company found that the level of quality of this theme park and the effort needed for its construction was worthy of sponsorship, especially since the overall endeavour is taking place in Northern Greece.

Mr Yannis Stergis, the CEO of the British agency The Ariston Project Ltd, stated that the agency he represents will undertake the certification and supervision of the educational programmes taking place at the 'Choco Factory and Museum', an initiative that is a European first for a theme park within European territory.

The most important sections of the 'Choco Factory and Museum' are the following:

Reception 
Visitors are welcomed at the Factory reception and receive their first information, including the printed material needed by everyone about to go on an amazing journey through time. The waiting area contains an exhibition detailing the long history of Pavilion 1 of TIF, with rich photographic and informational material.

The Chocolate Library 
We have created a unique library in a useful, functional space for our visitors to rest and wait. The printed material of the library (books, stories, recipes, magazines, newspapers, etc.) will exclusively revolve around the theme of chocolate, sweets, nutrition and confectionery in general.

It will be open to young and old visitors to the Park and Exhibition Centre, who won't require a Choco Factory admission ticket to visit the Library.

Choco Museum 
The most delicious museum! The 'journey of chocolate' is exceptionally interesting, coming alive before the eyes of visitors. The first stop is in front of the enormous cocoa tree, the first museum depiction of the global history of chocolate and its evolution in Greece. At the same time, through various exhibits and super-sized books and display cases, visitors will discover the main stages of processing and producing chocolate, from the tree and the bean, the pots and moulds, dark and white chocolate leaves, to the final form that reaches consumers. The visit will continue in a unique setting with impressive jungle depictions and Inca temple ruins. 

Amazonian Hut – Projection Hall
The setting with the stilted Amazonian hut introduces visitors to the traditional way of cocoa processing. The special projection hall creates a unique atmosphere through presentation of the history of chocolate.

Gallery – Exhibition space 
The main feature of this area is an enormous, three-dimensional relief map of our country, made completely out of chocolate. The main historical monuments, also made of chocolate, decorate the map and inspire visitors to discover our "sweet Greece" in the most unique way. The area also exhibits sculptures made of chocolate!

Chocolate Workshops
Visitors can touch their dream here! Participation in the 2 workshops begins with an impressive experiment. Children then put on toques, gloves and aprons before coming into contact with sweet temptation: standing before large benches and beside the large chocolate fountain, they will create and package their chocolate constructs. Visitor participation in the workshops will be verified with a seal.

Biscuit Workshop
With the scent of biscuits wafting throughout the area, one of the most delicious areas of the park comes to life every day with the spontaneous smiles of visitors and the happy cries of children.

Children of all ages will be able to take part in biscuit-y activities, watch their favourite cookies being made and have the chance to make their own creative commemorative gifts!

Chocolate Chemistry Lab
The quality control of products take place at the colourful, impressive chemistry lab. Children learn about the basic information they must examine when selecting food (expiration date, texture, shape, etc.) and also discover the 'magic' recipe of chocolate!

Chocolate Face-painting 
Young and old visitors are transformed with the most delicious colours. Specially trained artists paint smiling faces using brushes dipped in actual chocolate.

Maze – Pirate Ship 
A real Maze of the 'Journey of Chocolate', this is the point of adventure and experiences. Young and old visitors enter the 'Pirate Ship' and, with a little luck, the exit to the big surprise is nearby!

Chocolate Waterfall 
The most impressive feature of the park can be seen by every visitor! The free flow of melted chocolate is always a delight... the only Chocolate Waterfall in Europe and one of the largest in the world can be found at the Choco Factory and Museum of TIF-HELEXPO.

Green Box Room
Group and personal photographs in a delicious setting for all visitors. The GreenBox room will make the journey of chocolate even more fun and will provide visitors with best souvenirs of their visit.

Educational Area 
This is a specially modified educational area with intense, colourful cartoon elements, designed exactly as the interior of a child's mouth. Information on the flavour areas and taste buds of the tongue and on teeth and oral hygiene is provided in a unique, fun and pleasant way. Other educational issues will also be analysed at this area, such as a healthy diet, childhood obesity and the therapeutic properties of chocolate. The educational topic shall change over time during the operation of the park.

SPONSORS 

The 'Choco Factory and Museum' is being exclusively sponsored by Greek companies that dominate their fields. 

The Grand Sponsor, the ION chocolate industry, covers the needs for the overall operation of the 'Choco Factory and Museum' and supports its construction, decoration and upgraded aesthetics.

The PAPADOPOULOU biscuit and bakery industry makes contributions to cover the needs of the theme park, with special emphasis placed on the biscuit workshop.