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Gerassimos L. Fokas

Gerassimos L. Fokas President, Hellenic Chamber of HotelsPresident,
Hellenic Chamber of Hotels

Philoxenia 2009 greeting.

“The present crisis requires serious thought and decision making.”

The course of Greece’s tourism figures and those of our competitors during 2009 simply confirms the estimates expressed by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and the Research Institute for Tourism and Forecasts (ITEP), once the global economic crisis began to appear.

Since the start of the crisis we made calls for the reshuffle of the state’s and private sector’s operations so as to formulate a new strategy for tourism that would help the industry minimize the consequences of the crisis and halt its extension for the years to come.

The tourism year of 2009 (and possibly 2010) will certainly be a bad year. However, beyond the assessable conclusions that will arise, it would be wise for us to be concerned and redefine the objectives of all those involved in the tourism mainstream of the country. Our reposition in the international and domestic tourism market must be made with a more comprehensive and upgraded tourism offer.

What is important for the tourism professionals is not to be left in uncertainty and negativity but to raise and promote a positive message through their actions: both the demand and the supply should continue. Difficulties should be addressed with the creativity, adaptability and flexibility and the highest commitment to quality, variety and “value.”

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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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