Key Tourism Figures 2019: Michael Flerianos, President, Hellenic Association of Airline Representatives
In order to meet the increasing trend of arrivals, it is necessary to upgrade the country’s infrastructure
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all visitors of WTM in London and Philoxenia in Thessaloniki on behalf of the Hellenic Association of Airlines Representatives.
Air transport and tourism development are interrelated. Good air accessibility is fundamental for the development of tourism destinations. At the same time, the growth of tourism is essential for the well-being of airlines and airports.
Despite all challenges faced during the recent crises, we are confident that the tourism industry in Greece will continue to grow and be the mainstays of economic growth and employment for our country.
We are currently seeing major strategic improvements focused on the reconstruction and modernization of Greece’s airports, the improvement of facilities, the upgrade of services, new investments and the ongoing training of those involved in tourism.
…The focus of our members is to attract airlines to operate on a year round basis, and this way ‘transform’ the traditional ‘sea and sun’ product into a high-end, 12-month product…..
The role of our members, as GSAs, is to capitalize on this growth, solve all complexities and create synergies, by attracting more carriers to operate in Greece.
When a foreign airline looks into a new market, it usually appoints an official representative (GSA) to commercially develop the market on their behalf. The GSA is the ‘face’ of the airlines in the marketplace. In Greece, out of 136 airlines operating in the territory, 80 of them operate through a GSA.
The focus of our members is not only to ensure seasonal operations in Greece but also to attract airlines to operate on a year round basis, and this way ‘transform’ the traditional ‘sea and sun’ product into a high-end, 12-month product.
On this end we consider of critical importance the long-term, serious and targeted promotion of Greece as a destination, as well as the strategic planning of each individual destination and the coordinated promotional actions of all those involved (local government, ministries, airport, ground handlers and GSAs).
In addition, in order to meet the increasing trend of arrivals, it is necessary to upgrade the country’s infrastructure, both in airports and in terms of access to and from them, and to consider extending the opening hours of regional airports, which today remain closed during the night.
The general rule for developing airline connections is simple. A forecast is required for the likely number of passengers willing to pay a reasonable price to travel and for this to lead to an upward trend over the coming years.