WTM 2015: Greek Alt. Minister Kountoura Talks Tourism in the UK
Greek tourism’s quantitative targets for 2016, opportunities for developing new products and destinations and expanding the season were the main topics Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura focused on during her meetings with leading UK tour operators on the sidelines of the World Travel Market trade show that ran 2-5 November in London.
In the year to August, Greece saw a 25 percent increase in arrivals from the UK, welcoming approximately 1.8 million British visitors compared to 1.4 million in the same period last year, and a staggering 33.5 percent increase of travel receipts.
During WTM it was revealed that early bookings from the UK to Greece for 2016 are showing an increase so far.
On the first day of the trade show, Ms Kountoura gave a speech during a networking event of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), which was attended by UK tour operators, travel professionals, exhibitors, journalists and analysts.
There she unveiled plans for the new season and focused on the ministry’s strategy to further promote Greece in the United Kingdom.
According to the minister, Greece’s main priority will be to attract tourists in the shoulder and non-peak season months.
Also at the trade show, Ms Kountoura attended the annual UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit and had the chance to exchange views with many of her counterparts.
During her three-day visit in London, the minister had a meeting with her British counterpart, Tracey Crouch, and discussed the possibilities that surround a bilateral tourism cooperation between Greece and the UK.
She also held private meetings in the Greek pavilion with the tourism ministers of Cyprus, Giorgos Lakkotrypis, and of Bulgaria, Nikolina Angelkova.
Aiming to promote Greece in new markets in the Arabian Peninsula, the minister also met with the Deputy Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Sheikh Khaled Bin Humood Al Khalifa, and discussed ways of bilateral cooperation in the tourism and economic sector.
She was also guest speaker of the Western University of London (University of West London) and gave a lecture entitled “Sustainable development and tourism by offering new products” to students of the Department of Tourism Management.
GTP is an official media partner of WTM London 2015.