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Athens Meet Says Culture Key to Tourism Growth in Greece

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounio, Attica.

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounio, Attica.

Greece’s vast cultural legacy can contribute greatly to the development of tourism, according to findings presented at the 2nd Athens Culture Symposium held on Monday at the Gennadios Library in Athens.

Annalisa Gatti, Account Executive-Milan and Amsterdam, Reverse Innovation; Lito Ntakou, Managing Director and Dimitris Tryfon, Co-Founder, Molyvos International Music Festival; Marina Papatsoni, Marketing and Business Development Director, TEMES; Elias Spirtounias, Executive Director, American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.

Annalisa Gatti, Account Executive-Milan and Amsterdam, Reverse Innovation; Lito Ntakou, Managing Director and Dimitris Tryfon, Co-Founder, Molyvos International Music Festival; Marina Papatsoni, Marketing and Business Development Director, TEMES; Elias Spirtounias, Executive Director, American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.

Organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with NGO International Relations for Culture, the event titled “Invest in Culture: Destination Culture” focused on ways to tap into Greece’s wealth of cultural offerings in order to enhance the tourism product.

“Cultural diplomacy can contribute significantly to the improvement of the country’s international reputation,” said Elias Spirtounias, executive director, American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.

Approximately 35 percent of all tourist searches for Greece relate to cultural attractions, music, arts, festivals, historical monuments, archaeological sites and museums.

“Cultural tourism holds the greatest added value for the country,” said Marketing Greece CEO Ioanna Dretta, calling on the government to step in and upgrade consumer areas and sales points at Greece’s museums and sites.

Dretta also underlined that the implementation of e-ticket technology, which in many cases is in place but unused as is the case on Santorini, would contribute significantly to revenues.

Indicatively, total revenues from ticket sales at archaeological sites and museums came to 88.1 million euros in 2016 in part due to the increase in ticket prices compared to 56.5 million euros in 2015.

Earnings from tickets sales at archaeological sites and museums this year are expected to reach 100 million euros, driven by the increase in foreign visitors.

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