Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni expects 2014 to be a good season after last year’s success for Greek tourism.
Speaking at the presentation of Greece’s new communication strategy for tourism on 25 June in Athens, Mrs. Kefalogianni said the tourism industry now plays a central role in the Greek economy’s recovery.
According to recent data from the Bank of Greece, travel receipts recorded a 27.8 percent increase (196 million euros) in the first quarter of 2014. Greece’s travel balance showed a surplus of 252 million euros during the January-April period, compared with a surplus of 194 million euros in the corresponding period of 2013.
Greece is expected to welcome 19 million tourists (21.2 million when including cruise visitors) and collect 13.5 billion euros in tourism revenue this year.
Greece needs to maintain its good tourism image
Mrs. Kefalogianni said that over the last two years, the Tourism Ministry succeeded in boosting Greece’s tourism image abroad and creating relationships with major tourism markets.
“All together we achieved the rebirth of Greek tourism,” she said referring to the ministry’s joint efforts with the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and employees.
The Greek tourism minister added that Greece’s success in tourism has increased the country’s obligations towards its visitors. “We have a duty to fight anything that is likely to foster negative impressions about Greece,” she said.
She called on all tourism stakeholders and local governments to show the required responsibility to foreign visitors: keep cities clean, combat profiteering, encourage politeness, show care for animals, promote responsible driving and hospitality.
“These are the prerequisites for Greece to continue to be the star in tourism,” Mrs. Kefalogianni said.
On the country’s new communication strategy for tourism, Mrs. Kefalogianni said it is adapted to the habits of tourists, destination choice criteria, the way travelers seek information and the channels they use to buy services and organize their trip.
The new strategy will include the use of the Internet to its fullest extent along with digital tools and mobile technology.
Greece’s fame has been spreading around the world since 1914, the year of the first National Tourism Organization. 10.000 tourists in 1914 – 17,5million in 2014