Organizers of the event, the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist & Travel Agencies (FedHATTA), are aiming via the conference to increase the number of US holidaymakers to Greece by 30 percent.
The event, held in a different country each year, will bring US tour operators to Athens, paving the way for networking and partnerships between Greek and US professionals. In this direction, FedHATTA has organized a series of tours to major Greek destinations including Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini and Thessaloniki, besides the Greek capital.
“The main purpose of the ASTA Destination Expo 2018 is to establish a local network,” ASTA President Zane Kerby said during a press conference on Tuesday.
During the press conference, Kerby and ASTA Vice President Robert Duglin agreed that the expo will aim to further promote Greece as a leading tourist destination and boost the number of US tourists selecting Greek destinations in the years ahead.
Both men also referred to Greece’s impressive safety record, underlining that it is a safe destination for travel and suitable for the US travel community, which for the most part is composed of millennials — young travelers — who enjoy greater economic comfort and prefer destinations abroad. Particularly following the US State Department’s recent advisory, which placed Greece among the world’s safest destinations.
“The Millennials are the target group expected to use the services of travel agencies,” Kerby added.
“On the occasion of the ASTA conference, the Greek tourism market sets the groundwork for further growth over the next decade of US tourism to Greece, a country offering exactly what American tourists want of their holidays,” said FedHATTA President Lysandros Tsilidis.
ASTA is among the world’s largest associations of travel professionals. It currently counts 8,944 members from 3,586 US companies or agencies, while also representing the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA).