By Maria Paravantes in Berlin
”The ITB is a very important tool for us, it’s about getting feedback and forecasts and then using all the information to improve your services,’’ Michalis Reissis (photo), member of the Karpathos Tourism Committee, told the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) on the sidelines of the ITB on Wednesday.
Reissis, who is also managing director at luxury travel organizer Holiday World, believes experiences are what make or break a destination.
‘’On Karpathos we have lots of return visitors, many of whom follow in their parents’ footsteps and come to our island because they have fond memories.”
Karpathos, one of the Dodecanese islands that still remains an off-the-beaten track destination, attracts mostly Germans, Scandinavians, Italian, Dutch, Austrian and Jewish travelers seeking tranquility and tradition.
‘’People learn about Karpathos mostly through word of mouth. They are travelers wanting to avoid mass tourism, seeking genuine experiences, good food, culture,’’ Reissis tells the GTP, but the island has greater demand than it can supply in terms of capacity.
For Reissis, ecotourism is the next step in meeting the desires of those coming to Karpathos. His company recently organized a funded pilot program which involved experiential travel. ‘’Visitors – in groups of four or five – had the chance to go fishing, or pick up fresh fish from the fishermen at the port, then we went by boat to a beach and grilled the fish, ate and enjoyed the natural beauty. This is what we can offer, and this is unparalleled – our way of life, ’’ he adds.