At a press conference held on Monday, 29 April, the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) launched the long-awaited non-profit private marketing company for Greek tourism “Marketing Greece SA.
“The planning and launch of Marketing Greece is a historical reference point for tourism and the tourism enterprises in Greece,” Andreas Andreadis, president of SETE and Marketing Greece, said.
During the first year of operation, the company will run under a budget of two million euros that was gathered by the private sector. The company’s composition of shareholders is: SETE (80 percent stake in the company), the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (17.5 percent) and the Hellenic Association of Communications Agencies-EDEE (2.5 percent).
“Marketing Greece – staffed with experienced executives from the Greek tourism market and comprised of a Board of Directors with know-how and professional achievement in the private sector – in collaboration with the relevant government agencies and institutions, will unite knowledge and experience to promote the Greek tourism product,” the general manager of Marketing Greece, Iosif Parsalis, told GTP.
Assisting the GNTO to communicate brand “Greece”
The new private company will play an advisory role and support the actions of the Greek Tourism Ministry and the Greek National Tourism Organization for the creation of a new tourism identity for Greece.
This will be accomplished through a high quality multi-level communication strategy that aims to place Greece on the list of the 10 most important and attractive destinations worldwide.
The company will focus on the branding of the country and its destinations and promote the tourism products of each destination.
“Our interventions will be consistent with the GNTO’s and the organization’s strategies and current slogan,” Mr. Parsalis said.
The slogan used by the GNTO is “Greece, all time classic.”
It is reminded that Marketing Greece was initially planned to be based on the public-private partnership of the Greek public sector and SETE, but the GNTO pulled out due to various reasons (mainly legal issues).
Managing Greece’s reputation
The company’s immediate priorities to effectively manage Greek tourism will move in accordance with a well-designed business plan.
In light of the upcoming tourism season, the “reputation management” of Greece will be among the company’s main priorities.
Over the recent years, international coverage on the Greek financial crisis in combination with uncertainty over the country’s future in the eurozone in addition to images of demonstrations and street riots in Athens had led to a drop in bookings and subsequently a drop in tourism revenue.
Marketing Greece plans to boost Greece’s reputation through a planned public relations network with PR agencies in target markets such as Russia, the U.S., the UK, Germany, and France.
Through these PR agencies, the company will reproduce Greece’s positive press coverage and distribute attractive presentations of the country’s various tourism products and destinations.
“We have selected the best public relations agencies to create a positive image for the country,” Mr. Parsalis told GTP.
World class website in the works
This summer, Marketing Greece will launch a “world class website” that will provide complete information about the destinations and experiences that can be lived in Greece.
Additionally, the website will give users the ability to plan their trip via search services for accommodation, transfers and tours. Connecting to more than one online booking engine will be available as well.
Social media, fam trips and tourism events
In addition to the launch of the website, the company will develop a vast social media network to promote content on Greece; organize and participate in international tourism events; and organize familiarization trips to Greece for high-class journalists and opinion leaders.
The company will also provide consulting services to the State, local governments and Greek tourism enterprises and carry out market research in target countries.
Marketing Greece – Board of Directors
President: Andreas Andreadis
Vice President: Yiorgos Tsakiris
General Director: Iosif Parsalis
Members: Yiannis Retsos, Yiorgos Vernicos, Eftichios Vassilakis, Alexandros Vassilikos, Kalinikos Kalinikos, Ioannis Kent, Fotis Kokotos, Achilleas Konstantakopoulos, Dimitris Mavros, Andreas Metaxas, Konstantinos Bretanos, Ioannis Paraschis, Panagiotis Podimatas, Agapi Sbokou, Christos Stergiou, Andreas Stylianopoulos, Yiorgos Telonis, Andreas Fiorentinos.