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Kostas Tsovilis

Kostas Tsovilis, Hellenic Association of Airline Representatives PresidentPresident, Hellenic Association of Airline Representatives

PHILOXENIA 2011 greeting.

In these difficult and obscure days where the Greek economy and society are being beaten by unprecedented forces, our country’s tourism industry is at the start of a peculiar journey, the journey of the salmon.

This marvelous fish once a year leaves the cold waters of the oceans and swims against the raging currents of the rivers. Somewhere in the middle the salmon will encounter its worst enemy, the hungry bear. The bear resembles the worst side of us.

The new-Greek mentality, that stipulates to profit the maximum with the minimum effort, the person(s) who puts his personal benefit above the common one. The person(s) who is prepared to violate the right of freedom of his fellow men or of society at large in the name of his own good settlement.

We cannot really blame any one but ourselves for the situation we are faced with. And we can only change ourselves, first through personal and then through collective efforts. No one should try and hinder economic areas of the Greek economy to protect his own as that is against every democratic foundation.

These days tourism perhaps reflects the only industry in Greece that could contribute significantly to bring the country out of the recession.

Tourism is the sole industry that in the heart of the crisis has managed to increase to a double-digit figure, moving against the currents, against all odds, exactly like the salmon does.

And as such we must all protect and improve it. The need is now greater than ever for all professionals in the tourism industry to unite, to leave aside personal differences and interests and focus on one common goal: that of eliminating the threat of the bear.

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