Within the Greek tourism sector there are many things we are not happy with, however, we have to give credit where credit is due. And the Greek tourism ministry deserves warm applause for the organization of this year’s Greek pavilion at Berlin’s International Tourism Bourse. Both exhibitors and visitors alike were amply pleased with the wide-open airy atmosphere, the vibrant colors and the service supplied by the Hellenic Tourism Organization’s Berlin offices.
And while there were complaints from Greek exhibitors – some considered the pavilion just too colorful and others insisted that the tourism organization should have organized round-the-clock traditional Greek dances – the overall impressions were ones of pride. Not only because Greece managed to create an enticing stand but also because the visitors to the pavilion were, for once, more numerous than those seen at competing country stands, such as Portugal and France.
The most common remark heard around the fair was that “the Greek presentation surpassed all previous attempts.” But there were a couple of sour points. The first was that the City of Athens, which created an impressive stand-alone presentation, could only find space in between Portugal and France and thus was lost to those visiting the Greek pavilion. Good money was spent on a good presentation, but because the various parties involved were late to cooperate and decide on ITB participation, Athens/Attica had to take whatever was available. Unfortunate.
Another unfortunate incident concerned the City of Patras. Its promotion area and its stand layout were not only excellent but also manned by hard-working staff that did all in their power to entice visitors. They gave out lollipops to promote 2006, which were popular with all, but had no programs to give the many visitors that wanted to have an idea of what would be available in 2006 as the city celebrates it being the Cultural Capital of Europe.