The interest of potential holidaymakers for Greece has grown stronger during the last few weeks, as online searches for Greek destinations on Google have doubled worldwide, according to Maria Founta, Google Country Marketing Manager for Greece, Romania and Ukraine.
Moreover, online searches by Greek users have tripled in recent weeks compared to last March.
“Technology helps people discover, get inspired and have fun whenever they are not able to visit a destination. Thousands have thus far watched the content of #greecefromhome [the country’s digital platform that was launched during the COVID-19 lockdown] aiming to get closer to Greece, while many have visited cultural sites through Google Arts & Culture,” she said.
GreecefromHome has also helped people around the world stay in touch with Greek culture and tourism enterprises better cope with current challenges.
According to Founta, the COVID-19 crisis has significantly enhanced the tendency of people to use technology in various fields of the Greek economy including tourism, employment and education.
As a result, the use of Google Meet, the company’s video-communication service, has increased 30 times since January, while in the last two months over 150 entrepreneurs participated in Google’s interactive seminars on a daily basis.
To contribute to the recovery of the Greek economy, Google has also launched the Grow Greece with Google initiative that provides entrepreneurs, employees, and job seekers in Greece with a wide range of tools to achieve their goals.
The digital transformation of Greek tourism
Meanwhile, it is expected that digital transformation will play a major role in the development of Greek tourism in the years to come.
“A recent study by Oxford Economics shows that over 170,000 jobs could be created in Greece if its digital tourism content grows further to the level of other countries,” Maria Founta said during the Delphi Economic Forum 2020 which was held online during June 9-12.
During the last five years, the company has offered extensive training on digital skills and tools to over 140,000 Greeks through its Grow Greek Tourism Online program which runs in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism.
According to Founta, 64 percent of the businesses that participated in the program have received positive results from their training, for example more visitors on their website or physical store.
“Today, amid the pandemic, the use of technology and digital skills is more important than ever for the recovery and growth of the tourism industry,” she added.
Through #greecefromhome, Google has also offered the opportunity to over 5,500 Greek entrepreneurs to continue their learning process from home through online group seminars and private meetings.
Furthermore, Google has contributed to the development of the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO guidelines for the recovery of the tourism sector worldwide and the digital transformation of destinations, companies and employees.