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Greek Regions Impress at Paris Exhibition

The Municipality of Alonissos and the periphery of the Ionian Islands recently took part in the five-day “Le Monde a Paris” international tourism exhibition (13/3/08-17/3/08) with positive results. The Municipality of Alonissos, also present at the exhibition last year, had a dynamic presence at this year’s exhibition due to the proactive Mayor of Alonissos Panagiotis Vlaikos who ensured the municipality’s participation in this significant tourism forum as well as in major tourism exhibitions in London, Milan, Sofia and Berlin.

President of the Committee for Tourism Development and Promotion of Alonissos Andreas Menagias met with executives of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) offices in France during the exhibition. According to the Mayor of Alonissos, the Greek stand was a success and attracted much interest.

The Periphery of the Ionian Islands also left its mark during the exhibition. Secretary General of the Periphery of the Ionian Islands Sotirios Vosdou responded to a survey conducted by the French government that showed Corfu amongst the three top destinations for French tourists, and used the international tourism exhibition to invite French tour operators and journalists to the region in order to promote the Ionian Islands. However, the survey also highlighted a lack of satisfactory airline connections between the Ionian Islands and France that could possibly hinder potential development of tourism in the region.

Greece’s presence was overall impressive as according to the organizers, Greece was the only Mediterranean country to show an increase (11 percent) in participation compared with last year, as opposed to Spain, Morocco, Turkey and Tunisia that actually showed decreased participation of some 20 percent. This is also evident in bookings for Greece in 2008 that so far show an 11-13 percent increase.

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