The Crisis Management Committee, set up last summer by former Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, had its first meeting during December’s outbreak of violence after the fatal police shooting of a Greek teenager.
According to the tourism ministry the formal establishment of the committee will soon be announced and will prove very useful and effective for all issues that affect Greek tourism.
The committee is to oversee the inter-relating responsibilities among various bodies, not only when a crisis occurs, but also when initiatives to increase the effectiveness of the ministry’s actions are required.
The ministry said that the second aim sees to the alleviation of negative consequences a crisis, that has occurred by chance or not, may leave on to the image of Greece.
It was announced that after the holidays specialists from abroad are to train the committee’s members and demonstrate the best way to deal with a crisis.
The ministry expressed its concern as safety in Greece is now questioned due to the latest events.
The ministry aims to join forces with the Press and Information Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to coordinate initiatives so that accurate facts that show all of the riots were individual and temporary and that Athens is a safe and civilized city will be passed on to the public in Greece and abroad.
During the course of the riots in December 2008, the Athens-Attica Hotel Association released information in regards to the damage to the structure of hotels in Athens, as well as the damage to the overall tourist product in the city.
The association said that reservations for planned foreign and domestic events, related to the holiday season (December 2008-January 2009), were canceled. The association also said that it expects a wave of cancellations for the months of February and March.
According to the association, these cancellations, which include group reservations and bookings per person along with a number of no-shows, will dramatically affect the course of reservations by the summer of 2009.