Alexandros Vassilikos, President of the Athens-Attica and Argosaronic Hotel Association, on Monday suggested that the Greek economic crisis helped bring the public and private sectors together, build partnerships and develop new campaigns and products to woo tourists.
Speaking during the Greek National Tourism Organization’s (GNTO) networking event held on Monday, the opening day of the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, Mr Vassilikos said that the crisis was not only negative and also had a positive side.
“It helped us turn around many things in the way we used to do business. We wouldn’t be here today, talking about these positive numbers, if we didn’t have the crisis”, he underlined.
The Greek capital saw a 26 percent rise in arrivals in the first eight months of 2015. In August alone Athens recorded a 23 percent increase compared to August 2014.
“We had to work together. We created public-private sector partnerships.”
He added that the crisis helped in showing new products of Athens such as the Argosaronic islands that surround the Greek capital and the city’s beaches that can be reached easily by public transport.
“We managed to shift the interest from the main, classical, landmarks such as the Parthenon, the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum and start to meet the demand”, Mr Vassilikos said.
New landmarks in Athens next year will include the Greece’s new National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) and the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre, an important cultural and educational project, which will comprise the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera in a 170,000 sq m landscaped park.
GTP is an official media partner of WTM London 2015.