The tourism ministry is planning to establish 49 new Hellenic Tourism Organization offices around the world, in addition to the current 23 international offices, Tourism Development Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said during a press conference called last month.
The new offices are to be set up in such diverse cities as Shanghai, China; Geneva, Switzerland; Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. There were no details about the cost of the project or as to how many offices would be independent ones.
Although the minister was not specific on how many of these offices would be the stand-alone type, with the exception of the office in Beijing, he did say that most would be set up within the country’s various embassies and consulates abroad.
Mr. Avramopoulos said the required legislation would be voted on within the next few days (around the first of June) and would create at least 50 new positions within the tourism organization. These positions, he said, would be for a three-year duration and each would be filled by the end of August, and that the “new generation of executives” would be in place by the end of September.
He added that all of the 23 present tourism offices abroad would undergo radical refurbishment and redecoration and that most of the personnel at each office would be replaced.
New Hellenic Tourism Organization offices are also planned within each of Greece’s tourism regions – the regions lose their tourism authority, which was passed over to them from the tourism organization during the previous government.
If fully initiated, the plan would give the tourism sector the biggest public tourism mechanism the country has ever experienced since the setting up of the Hellenic Tourism Organization well over a half a century ago. As well, government sources say 18 management positions within the central offices of the tourism organization must be filled immediately as well as 14 regional management positions.
New country offices:
Hong Kong, China
Los Angeles, U.S.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Auckland, New Zealand
New Delhi, India
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Mexico City, Mexico
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Alma Ata, Kazakstan
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Johannesburg, S. Africa