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GNTO VP: Perseverance and Consistency Behind Greek Tourism Success Story 

GNTO VP Aggeliki Chondromatidou.

Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Vice President Angeliki Chondromatidou.

Establishing Greece as multi-island destination in the Mediterranean offering 365 days of tourism options and genuine experiences are at the top of the tourism ministry’s agenda, according to Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Vice President Aggeliki Chondromatidou.

In a recent interview to Greek tourism news website, Chondromatidou refers to the robust growth of Greek tourism “despite a series of serious setbacks” including capital controls, the refugee crisis, and the ongoing geopolitical issues in the wider area as well as the full recovery of rival markets Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia.

“We achieved a 25 percent increase in inbound tourism in the last three years, and growth rates of over 7 percent,” she said “thanks to the ministry’s perseverance and consistency and in close cooperation with regional authorities and the private sector”.

Chondromatidou expects 2018 will be yet another record year for Greece, citing positive trends in all European source markets.

Working closely with Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura, Chondromatidou underlines that the positive growth is a result of a far-reaching strategy that includes agreements with foreign tour operators; fam trips, which are aimed at boosting last-minute reservations, accounting for about 40 percent of total bookings; targeted promotional actions in Europe “together with the dynamic presence of the private sector”; the revision of an outdated institutional framework addressing persistent problems in the sector; and increasing connectivity of Greek destinations with new markets.

The Acropolis, Athens. © GTP

The Acropolis, Athens. © GTP

In this direction, Chondromatidou said the ministry and the GNTO had reached out to the US, China, Russia and Middle Eastern markets while now looking to the emerging Indian market.

Key policies being implemented now, she said, include the promotion of established “sea & sun” destinations, such as Crete and Rhodes, for tourism 365 days a year, as well as the promotion of Athens and Thessaloniki as city-break destinations while boosting direct flights from Greece, Europe, the US, Arab countries, Russia and China throughout the year and stimulating entrepreneurship with the creation of special programs.

Meanwhile, the GNTO VP said, additional partnerships with thematic tour operators in Europe, were in the pipeline as are promotional actions of combined tour packages that include new “satellite” destinations together with popular destinations,.

Chondromatidou concludes that tourism is set to play a major role after Greece exits its aid program on August 20, “as it is perhaps the only sector of the economy that can bring direct results in the 2019-2020 period with additional revenue, new jobs, while supporting entrepreneurship and local societies across Greece in a balanced manner”.

To read the original interview (in Greek) from the website, press here.

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