Tourism Development Minister Fanni-Palli Petralia recently opened the second forum for the development of strategic marketing and a system of identification for Greek tourism.
Ms Petralia asserted the need for Greece to become more competitive and emphasized that the efforts to achieve this goal must be synchronized and continuous. The minister stressed that with “speed but caution we will correct the mistakes of the past,” and that the aim is to enrich our tourism prospects and make Greece an all-year-round tourist destination.
The keynote speaker for the forum was Eulogio Bordas, president of International Tourism Consultants, which has been commissioned to develop the marketing strategy for the Greek product for 2008 to 2012. Mr. Bordas gave an outline of the “9 plus 1” marketing plans currently in progress and established the main aim of the plan which is to generate a bigger “yield” for Greece through higher customer satisfaction, repetition and recommendation.
He expressed that it would be at least three years before Greece will see dramatic results from the implementation of these strategies, but the outcome would be worthwhile and long term.
Mr. Bordas focused on the creation of destination management companies that would “cater to create tailor made tourist packages of experience and generate new concepts.”
He asserted that Greece has the capacity “for thousands of activities to be transformed into experiences in contrast to destinations such as Croatia and Spain that have few experiences to offer and will need years to catch up to Greece if we begin now.”
Mr. Bordas also talked about creating “labels” for the Greek product whereby although it is not possible to be competitive in all forms of tourism, it is imperative that tour operators can cater for specific needs of their clientele. He provided the Kinder hotels of Austria as an example to follow.
He stressed the need to follow the new trends in advertising, particularly online. He discussed the advent of social media systems such as blogs, podcasting, customer reviews and claimed that Greece “has to learn to manage blogs and therefore create a new buzz for Greece.”
He discussed the need for investment in all forms of media. Greece must target key travel magazines read worldwide and target the tour operators directly through various multimedia.
Finally Mr. Bordas explained the need for training tourism specialists to become marketing masters so that everyone involved in the tourism industry speaks the same language and shares the same objectives and that “Greece has to be marketed by Greeks.”