The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) is aiming to take Greek tourism to the next level, beyond the already established “sun and sea” offer, and provide a new travel experience to visitors, focused on sustainability.
Speaking on Thursday during the 100th General Meeting of the European Travel Commission (ETC), GNTO President Angela Gerekou underlined the need for the tourism industry to adapt to the challenges of 2021 and she presented the GNTO’s priorities for the future of Greek tourism in post-Covid-19 era.
“Tourism was in an adaptation process before Covid-19, while now, after the consequences of the pandemic, changes are accelerating regarding the creation of a new tourism model,” she said.
“This development concerns forming a new tourism-travel experience, in addition to the traditional context of traveling for vacation, and touches on many parameters such as the environment, culture, gastronomy and overall sustainability,” Gerekou added, highlighting that the international traveler is now seeking a “holistic experience” that also focuses on health and safety issues, as well as improved services and activities, in addition to the already established “sun and sea” model.
However, the GNTO’s president stressed that in order to move forward towards a new tourism model, “a step back must first be taken” to evaluate all that has taken place in the past decade.
“Then we have to analyze the current situation and then plan and implement policies for the type of tourism we want to have in the coming years,” she added.
Developing Greece’s online presence
Referring to the GNTO’s initiatives and actions in the coming period, Gerekou stated that the organization will aim to develop its online presence to the highest and most efficient level, as well as its showing in global media outlets, and highlight the comparative advantages of Greek tourism.
“While forming a new tourism model, we will carry out the majority of our promotional actions through the internet, also collaborating with the private sector and local authorities, in order to achieve the creation of a new Greek tourism experience,” she said.
Summing up, the GNTO’s president underlined that the future of tourism is based on the will of people to travel.
“Τhat is why the role of national tourism organizations is to pay attention to developments and move forward. Here at the GNTO we are moving exactly in this direction, aiming for sustainable tourism development in 2021 and – in the following years – towards a new tourism model by 2030,” Gerekou concluded.
The European Travel Commission (ETC) is a non-profit organisation responsible for the promotion of Europe as a tourism destination in third markets. ETC’s 100th General Meeting took place online and was joined by a high number of members who discussed its recent activities and plans for the future recovery of European tourism.