Athens Mayor Confident that City’s Tourism Success Will Continue
Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis, speaking at the Athens – Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association general assembly last week, highlighted three key points that will ensure the Greek capital continues to attract visitors at increasing rates.
Athens’ participation in international tourism events, organising initiatives that will attract foreign professionals and media and upgrading the tourist product offered, including Athens’ online presence, safety and functionality, will ensure that the city’s dynamic growth in tourism will continue, Mr Kaminis said.
“Athens has demonstrated impressive growth in the last four years, and I will do everything in my power to ensure the capital attains the glamor it deserves,” he said.
The mayor was quick to point out that Athens’ growth as an independent tourist destination is a result of municipal planning and actions, including among others the Travel Trade Athens, set this year for April 26-27.
“Athens launched its own annual international professional workshop, the Travel Trade Athens, with the collaboration of the city’s Development and Destination Management Agency and the European Tour Operators Association.”
He added that the municipality also organised far-reaching and influential initiatives like the TBEX 2014, an annual meeting of the world’s travel and tourism bloggers.
Stressing the need for the proper operation and security of the city, Mr Kaminis slammed the government’s recent decision to do away with the municipal police, saying that it will create serious problems. At the same time, referring to the growing problem of graffiti, he called for support in his “war against vandalism”.
The streets of Athens, stark, angry and impassioned
A sea of concrete, unloved and unfashioned
Function over form drives all I can see
Little scope to express or space to be.
Many try to make something good of what’s here
Other’s destroy, tarnish, driven by anger and fear
No job and no future, with petulance they burst
It’s the spray can, they reach out for first
Barely a surface escapes the angry graffiti mob
For those who try hard, their hope it must rob
A blight on the city, both rich and the poor
For it is not nice, that which they draw
Walls, Windows. Shutters, even the trees
They spray their anger wherever they please
Added to a city where so much is broke
The pavements, the lighting, it is no joke
Through all this mire, there’s beacons of light
Of Athenians prepared to fight the good fight
Ever cheerful and friendly, despite what they see
For they know to improve, that’s how it must be.
Their warmth and charm shines ever bright
Through dawn, day, dusk and into the night
These spirited Greeks, can’t help but inspire
So many beacons of light, in the Athenian mire.
Let us hope those souls with destructive bent
Are diverted by the light of these souls heaven sent.