According to Greece’s tourism development minister, Fani Palli-Petralia, this year’s tourism season will be the best we’ve seen in a long time. She added that the common denominator during all discussions held during her recent visit to Washington D.C., during which she addressed the Global Travel and Tourism Summit, organized by the World Travel & Tourism Council, was that “Greece boasts a very good tourism product that has become more competitive in the international market.”
Addressing reporters after completion of the two-day summit, Ms Petralia said she had ascertained that Greece has gained ground in the preferences of the U.S. travel agents and tourism industry, but also of the American tourists.
“It is in our hands now to further develop these close ties that we have established. Naturally, there is much we must do in our country…we must move forward on the issue of cruises, (and) we must proceed with flexibility on the issue of investments.”
She said that American visitors to Greece are particularly interesting as they have a high standard of living and thus come under the category of big spenders when they travel. “All this is good for our tourism industry and Greece, following the (Athens 2004) Olympic Games, has repositioned itself on the global tourism map.”
Ms Petralia said that Greece’s image in the U.S. today was “very positive” and stressed that the Greek government’s target was a qualitative upgrading and the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product.
“My conclusion is that, for the U.S. market, Greece is an enchanting country which -as the officials I spoke with told me- has the best product, which guarantees stability and security in the region, and a country that can offer a lot to every visitor. And when we invite the visitor to ‘live their myth in Greece’, we mean that each visitor can feel and live his/her own personal myth in Greece,” the minister said.
She also addressed students at Georgetown University, whom she briefed on Greece’s new tourism development strategy, the investment opportunities in the tourism sector in Greece, and on the country’s comparative advantages and its legacy from the successful and safe organization of the 2004 Olympics.