By Maria Paravantes in Berlin
The Greek island of Evia has been under-promoted and in many cases its potential underestimated, Miltiades Chelmis, president of the Evia Hoteliers Association, told the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) on the sidelines of the ITB Berlin on Thursday.
“Evia’s main advantage is its accessibility. It is near Athens but it can also cater to the needs of visitors seeking sea and sun, mountain holidays or adventure travel,” says Chelmis.
Greece’s second-largest island, Evia until recently was mainly serviced by massive hotel units, explains Chelmis, today most of these have shut down and in their place smaller, warmer facilities offer visitors a diversified product.
“The idea has moved away from mere hospitality to a mixed tourism product that combines accommodation as well as parallel activities, everything from cultural and nature experiences to scuba diving and hiking. It’s about creating an attractive diverse and interesting package depending on each visitor’s profile,” Chelmis says, adding that National Geographic’s Journeys of a Lifetime has included Evia in its 500 greatest trips.
”The development of alternative tourism depends on the infrastructure. Once that is in place we can begin to speak of a complete product. In the meantime, our role as hoteliers is to offer the quality that will bring back visitors,” says Chelmis, who owns one of Greece’s most famous establishments, the Lucy Hotel, where many Greek films have been shot since 1955 when it first opened.
Closing, Chelmis adds that the recent trouble in neighboring Turkey has led many tourists to Greece. “We must now find a way to capitalize on this new reality and establish Greece as a safe and secure destination in the minds of travelers.”