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Efforts For Athens’ Tourism Promotion Announced

Tourists gathered in front of the Parliament building on Syntagma Square and wait to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in central Athens. According to the Tourism Ministry, the city’s tourism development will include a strategy that will extend to neighborhoods throughout the city and not be not limited to the historic center.

Tourists gathered in front of the Parliament building on Syntagma Square and wait to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in central Athens. According to the Tourism Ministry, the city’s tourism development will include a strategy that will extend to neighborhoods throughout the city and not be not limited to the historic center.

The Tourism Ministry and the City of Athens in early September announced a twofold effort that will address the tourism disincentives of the city center and see to the creation of new infrastructure to attract visitors.

Tourism in Greece managed a subtle comeback following the country’s two rounds of elections in May and June, but arrivals to the Greek capital plunged 13.6 percent during the January-August period to 1,805,066 against 2.088.319 last year.

Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni held a meeting with Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis and discussed the tourism promotion of the Greek capital through actions that could help the city become a popular destination for visitors.

“Athens could become the capital of Greek tourism as it is a city with an endless variety of attractive elements that range from culture, theater, music and ancient Greece to gastronomy, the coastal front and neighborhood strolls,” the tourism minister said.

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis once again called for a strategy and close cooperation between the government, local government and civil society with “continuous small or large interventions.”

In regards to bookings, the president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Yiorgos Tsakiris, told GTP that the Attica region and surrounding areas experienced a drop in demand that in many cases surpassed 50 percent.

At a recent Greek-Russian tourism forum, Mr. Tsakiris spoke in regards to strengthening the Greek capital as a city break destination.

With Russian arrivals expected to top some one million this year, Mr. Tsakiris said it was “astonishing” that Athens was absent from their preferences.

It was recently announced that the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises would soon join an initiative in collaboration with SKY group (TV, radio, etc.) to promote Athens through aesthetic revamp interventions.

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