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Yiannis Evangelou

Yiannis Evangelou, President, Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies.President,
Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies

Philoxenia 2008 greeting.

What do we expect from Philoxenia? For some of us it is necessary to be there every year. For some it is a hope to do business, and for others it is an obligation to meet the budget of the institution they represent. But Philoxenia has as the objective and basic message: “upgrade tourism.”

Yet how do you explain the infrastructure of our visitor entry points and the way we welcome our guests at ports, “tourist” airports, and even bus and train terminals?

How can we talk about specific types of tourism, when until 30 March most of the island itineraries either are unknown or the reservation systems are closed and ticket prices are awaiting confirmation from the appropriate ministry?

How can we talk about the progress of tourism when tour operators do not have the right to transfer their customers with minibuses, or when car rental agencies cannot rent their cars with a driver?

How can we talk about quality tourism when there is no tourist police to speak of? And where these few officers of this service are present, they are assigned to handing out a summons.

Or why should we speak about specific types of tourism development when the small cruise ships are trapped in mandatory compositions that exhaust them with uneconomical accounting, or when the ongoing implementation of cabotage that excludes international cruise companies from our ports?

Is all this due to tactics we have learned to support and to details that we have become accustomed to ignore?

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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