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Giorgos Telonis, President Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (ΗΑΤΤΑ)

Giorgos Telonis, President, Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (ΗΑΤΤΑ)Philoxenia 2012 greeting.

Greek tourism has once again shown high resilience in a highly negative environment.

Eventually, 2012 shows that we will reach 16 million international arrivals, despite the severe downturn that appeared from the beginning of the year and of course during the election period.

There is optimism for 2013 and the future of Greek tourism. However, positive messages are not enough.

It is time to raise the bar high.

It is time to take the big step. It is time to progress from 15-16 million arrivals and 9-10 billion euros in revenue. Let’s take the step towards 17-18 million and 12-13 billion, respectively.

This requires caution, self-control and good news for our country. It takes a lot of work.

We must address the seasonality through measures and actions that will diversify and enrich our tourism offer, penetrate the international tourism markets and develop the dynamics of specific groups, such as the elderly, students and special interest groups. Social, religious, medical and wellness tourism is a challenge (for Greece) within the open borders of Europe. Greece is a privileged destination in Southeast Europe for the development of cruise home porting. Europe is preparing for new initiatives. Marine and coastal tourism will be a priority in European policies.

International competition is intensifying and nobody is waiting for us.

Greek tourism needs a change of thought, a change of mentality. It needs open horizons, synergies and the lifting of disincentives.

Tourism needs openness and an aggressive policy.

It needs smart and targeted interventions. It requires joining forces and coordinated efforts.

All together we can make it happen for tourism.


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