By Nikos Krinis
Dubai-based carrier Emirates will support and sponsor the ASTA Destination Expo 2018, the annual international conference of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), to be held in Athens in April.
ASTA’s destination expo will be jointly organized in the Greek capital by ASTA, the Tourism Ministry and the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist & Travel Agencies (FedHATTA).
The news of Emirates’ support to the event was announced during a media briefing at the Tourism Ministry on Thursday, following a meeting attended by Elena Kountoura, Tourism Minister; Bob Duglin, ASTA vice president of business development, Stathis Skretas, president of the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA) and representative of FedHATTA; and Emirates executives.
Air discounts for ASTA Destination Expo 2018 attendees
Following the meeting, Duglin underlined that Emirates’ support will facilitate the transportation of hundreds of US expo delegates to Athens, adding that more than 500 American travel agents have already expressed interest in attending.
Emirates’ support to the ASTA Destination Expo 2018 includes a discount to ASTA’s attendees. Already in effect, ASTA members can go online and find a discount code.
“Emirates has 365 (days) service from Newark into Athens and that is very important to educate the people that are coming, since Greece is a 365 destination,” ASTA’s VP told GTP Headlines during the media briefing. Duglin added that ASTA aims to show their customers that – besides certain islands – there are other destinations to see, many places to go, to visit and to learn about in Greece.
FedHATTA, in cooperation with ASTA, has designed programs for the visiting travel agents that include visits to the islands, major cities, popular and new destinations, all of which promote Greece abroad.
“Our partnership [with Emirates] and this very important conference will enable us to increase our share in the US market, which we have worked intensively in the past two years to achieve,” Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said.
“The ministry’s objective – to establish Greece as a 365-day destination – is materializing, and strengthening connectivity has contributed greatly to increased tourist flows from the US,” she added.
Emirates in March launched a year-round non-stop daily service between the US and Greece through its Dubai-Athens-Newark flight.
Held annually in a different city, ASTA’s destination expo is expected to stimulate interest in the Greek travel market and give US travel agents the chance to visit, learn more about and promote Greece as a leading destination choice in the coming years. ASTA is one of the world’s largest travel professional bodies.