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WTTC Announces Greece’s Minister Kountoura as 2019 Global Champion for Tourism

Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura was honored with the prestigious World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Champion Award for Greece’s tireless work on Destination Stewardship.

Minister Kountoura received the award during the WTTC’s 2019 Global Summit in Seville, Spain, running April 2-4.

The annual WTTC Global Champion Awards recognize outstanding public officials or countries who, through their leadership, have made a difference through pioneering public policies and initiatives that have increased the competitiveness of the sector within their respective countries.

The WTTC Global Champion Award for Destination Stewardship recognizes proactive and thoughtful leadership in working to overcome issues of uneven seasonality to improve the year-round tourism experience.

“The issue of destination stewardship is critical to the long-term sustainable growth our sector,” said Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC.

According to WTTC, the Greek government is setting an example to the world by extending its tourist season throughout the country. Furthermore, the industry has engaged in this vision by supporting tourism businesses and destinations to increase average visitor spending and reducing seasonality.

Photo source: Visit Greece

Photo source: Visit Greece

Policies such as the extension of the summer tourism season, the development of thematic tourism, and the promotion of new destinations and services (such as wellness and medical tourism) are expected to create new revenue streams by attracting visitors all year round resulting in a significant raise in the ‘shoulder’ and low seasons.

“One solution to tourism overcrowding is to distribute tourists more effectively throughout the year and across different sites thereby improving the visitor experiences for everyone. Greece has been bold in not only recognizing this but embedding it into their strategy and ethos. For this reason, Greece’s success in reducing seasonality while increasing tourism revenue marks it out as a clear global champion,” Guevara added.

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