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Tourism Ministry, GNTO Announce New Promotional Actions for Greece

GNTO Secretary General Konstantinos Tsegas and Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura.

GNTO Secretary General Konstantinos Tsegas and Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura.

The Tourism Ministry and the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) on Monday announced a series of new actions for a more targeted and global promotion of Greece in 2018.

“In line with the national and regional tourism policy aiming at 365 days a year of tourism, the GNTO is implementing a very dynamic, multilevel program for the global promotion of Greece,” GNTO Secretary General Konstantinos Tsegas said, during a joint press conference with Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura.

This year and for the first time, the GNTO will embark on a joint advertising program with India focused on wedding tourism, travel for women and couples.

Tsegas also announced that the GNTO will launch joint advertising programs with 124 international and specialized tour operators and airline companies in over 30 foreign markets.

The GNTO will also soon advertise Greece through top international online channels – such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, TripAdvisor and Sazaam – and major international TV networks such as CNN.

The "Greece – Α 365-day destination" video has also been translated in Chinese.

The “Greece – Α 365-day destination” video has also been translated in Chinese.

In addition, the GNTO’s multi-awarded video “Greece – Α 365-day destination” will be screened this year on long-haul flights of LufthansaAustrian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines. An English-language video, “Greece – Α 365-day destination” has been translated in Arabic, Chinese, Russian, German, Italian, Spanish and Serbian.

“In 2018, we have even more dynamic and targeted actions so that Greece be heard and shown everywhere and more than ever before,” Tsegas underlined.

The GNTO secretary general added that Greece would participate in a total of 45 carefully selected international exhibitions in 2018. “We already participated in 29 and have another 16 to go,” he said, adding that the GNTO was also participating in the Posidonia 2018 shipping exhibition, currently running in Athens, and will be present at the 83rd TIF trade show in Thessaloniki during September 8-16.

Familiarization (FAM) trips are also a very important part of the GNTO’s strategy to get the word out about Greece.

The first phase of the GNTO’s 2018 promotional activity for Greece through FAM trips will wrap up in July. It will have included 167 FAM trips with the participation of some 587 journalists, bloggers and travel professionals from 27 countries.

According to Tsegas, the GNTO has organized the largest number of FAM trips than ever before, about 200 on average each year over the past three years.

Ministry:  2018 has kicked off exceptionally

“We are aiming this year to break another record in tourism,” Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said, adding that the goal is to establish Greece within the 10 (and perhaps the five) most popular and attractive destinations worldwide.

Referring to Greece’s strengthened tourism performance during the three-year period of 2015-2017, during which a 25 percent increase in incoming tourism and a significant rise in revenue was recorded, Kountoura underlined that 2018 has kicked off exceptionally.

“So far we are seeing a 14 percent increase in all tourism figures. Domestic tourism has also recovered significantly, as in 2017 a 5-6 percent increase was recorded and it seems that it will rise by 10 percent in 2018,” Minister Kountoura said.

“Our tourism policy ‘365 days a year’ seems to be becoming a reality, as if 2018 closes as it started, then it will there will be a huge extension of the tourism season,” she added.

Two-year (2019-2020) tourism plan for Greece

Minister Kountoura announced the ministry’s priorities included in Greece’s development plan that maps out the next steps of the country as it prepares to exit its third and final bailout program in August.

Completing a four-year tourism strategy in place since 2015, the ministry is now moving ahead with the finalization of a new scheme to cover the 2019-2020 period and which includes attracting fresh tourism investments to cover growing demand; offering incentives for investments in specialized tourism; linking tourism with the agro-industry; boosting public tourism education and the creation of tourist villages to host EU nationals, allowing them to transfer their tax residence to Greece.

Moreover, Minister Kountoura announced that the ministry would launch a new campaign in 2019, rebrand Greece and give the country a new tourism identity, one that will cover all 13 regions of the country.

“Our government, recognizing the importance of promoting Greece on a global level… has recognized the necessity to develop an even stronger tourism identity and establish a new branding of Greece, covering modern needs. Announcements, related to this action, will be made soon,” the minister said.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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