As a part of European Quality Week, the Greek Marketing Institute held a tourism seminar recently on “Quality in the Workplace: Make it Happen!” Although few tourism professionals arrived, a good number of tourism marketing students were on hand and had the opportunity to hear wise words from some of Greece’s top tourism professionals.
Makis Fokas, president of the Chamber of Greek Hotels, told guests quality was of utmost importance if we were to keep our tourism sector alive and growing, especially during this very difficult period when business is down appreciatively and the future does not look much brighter. He said that a major problem in the tourism industry is the extremely high number of arrivals during the peak summer period when Greece hosts more than 50% of its total annual arrivals in the short span of about 45 days.
Spiros Ginis, president of the Greek Union of Air Travel Agents, continued on the same theme but concentrated on business travel, which requires higher than average quality services. He said business from conferences and incentives is nowhere near where it should be or what we are capable of handling since we have a good business infrastructure. Besides quality, he said Greece needs a conference center that can hold at least 10,000 delegates as well as new forms of tourism activities in order to pick up new business.
And Tim Ananiadis, managing director of the Grande Bretagne, reminded that the hotel, with its high quality of services, is only part of a destination. He said we need that same high quality of service at all other sectors if we want to develop our tourism sector.
Byron Argiris of Conceptours said Greece entices visitors on its name alone but we are losing our reputation for hospitality and we have lost our smile. He suggests that it was best to have a visitor say he had a great time while in Greece even though the trip was expensive rather than to say it was a cheap trip but not a fun one.