The Greek Tourism Ministry recently presented a plan to the local authorities, hoteliers and tourism professionals of Kos that looks to establish a new destination brand identity for the Aegean island.
Focusing on the island’s history and connection with Hippocrates – the father of medicine – the ministry’s proposal looks to diversify Kos’ tourism product by investing in quality and for the island to develop its very own tourism destination brand identity.
“Our proposal is for Kos to attract high-income travelers and become known to a demanding segment of travelers,” Deputy Minister of Tourism Manos Konsolas said following his meetings with the island’s local authorities, hoteliers and tourism professionals. The meetings took place on Kos and was also attended by Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Secretary General Dimitris Frangakis and board member Nikos Pouliou.
Moreover, Konsolas said that the plan will aim to to lighten the consequences of the migration issue on Kos. “These are consequences that not only affect the daily lives of citizens, but also our tourism product. We are here to join forces to strengthen the tourist identity of Kos and our islands,” he said.
Plan for Kos’ new destination brand
The ministry’s proposal includes eight key points that aim to connect Kos’ new destination brand identity with Hippocrates, and the island’s tourism sector with economy, culture and history.
Within this framework, the ministry’s proposal looks to evolve the Hippocratic Oath Ceremony from a local to a mega event that will be organized by the ministries of tourism, culture and foreign affairs, as well as Greek universities, and held under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic.
The tourism ministry’s proposal also sees the preparation of a nomination file to include Kos’ Asclepeion and the Hippocratic Oath in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
In addition, the ministry looks to create a virtual reality museum that will feature Hippocrates and the founding principles of medical science in antiquity.
Actions to develop health tourism
Moreover, the ministry is exploring ways to develop health tourism on Kos through public-private partnerships and the establishment of a cluster of hospitals, medical centers and hotels.
Therefore, it has suggested the establishment of an international medical conference to be held annually on the island.
The ministry’s proposal includes the upgrade of the facilities of the International Hippocratic Foundation of Kos (IFHK). According to Konsolas, the upgrade will include the creation of an environmental park dedicated to Hippocrates and the history of medicine, within the foundation’s premises.
“We need the collaboration of all parties involved – related ministries local authorities, public sector entities – in order carry out this plan,” Konsolas said.
In addition, during the meeting it was agreed for a local cooperation agreement to be signed between the ministry and the island’s tourism stakeholders and authorities. The agreement will aim to immediately tackle any issues of professional concern and to create a 10-year plan to enhance Kos’s tourism identity and image.
“The GNTO and the Tourism Ministry are in direct cooperation on issues related to the support and promotion of the tourism product of our country and our islands,” GNTO Secretary General Dimitris Frangakis said, adding that Greece’s tourism campaign for the first time launched so early in the year.
“We are doing everything in our power to make Greece a strong brand name, just as the country deserves,” he added.