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Gerasimos Zacharatos, Dep. Secretary General Tourism Ministry

Official Tourism Message Gerasimos-Zacharatos

Greece is a beautiful country and the tourism ministry’s main role, together with its policies, is to keep it that way.

Aiming to further improve Greece’s tourism offerings, we have focused our attention inwards, to the foundations of the industry and to the structure of the country’s tourism product.

We are aiming to go that extra mile to resolve any individual issues that are hindering the sector’s progress, holding back our country’s overall performance.

The ministry is here to develop and facilitate entrepreneurship. We are available to assist all tourism-related fields and occupations so that the final product will be flawless when it reaches the consumer.

Our philosophy is to enter a dialogue with Greece’s tourism professionals; to sit together and work out what needs to be done; to identify and examine the sector’s structural problems and solve them in a responsible and timely manner.

Our main goal is to confirm that the tourism product is reliable, which is what visitors really want; to have confidence that the product will meet their demands.

The tourism ministry wants to be certain that Greece will offer exactly what it promises. And we can do this by examining each product in detail, whether it’s a new hotel or a series of destination-specific products.

In other words, our job is to focus on a destination, identify potential issues and find solutions.

A case in point: the Greek islands bearing the brunt of the massive influx of refugees and migrants. Acting on government orders and of the prime minister — before, during and after the elections — the tourism ministry launched a far-reaching strategy with the aim to boost the reputation and image of the affected islands.

We visited these islands, met with the local authorities and professionals, discussed their misgivings and problems, formed working groups that drew up and implemented action plans, which among others included, promoting the islands in markets abroad through participation in international exhibitions and spreading the word of their particular features.

Another priority for us is connecting each destination’s natural beauty with the quality of local production. The aim is to offer the wealth of the Greek landscape and its wide variety of products.

Let us not forget that Greek tourism is not what it was in the ’60s and ’70s. Today, it is a key resource of sustainability and one of the main pillars of economic growth.

The year 2015 has materialized into a good year for tourism, particularly in view of the extraordinary circumstances.

This said, I am optimistic about our country’s performance and tourism product in 2016.

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