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Public-Private Cooperation Holds the Key to Greek Tourism’s Future in post-Covid-19 Era

The cooperation between the public and private sectors in Greece will play a significant role in the country’s tourism promotion and communication to markets abroad in the post-Covid-19 era.

That was among the main conclusions of the online conference “Destination Greece | Communication in challenging times” held on Thursday by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) and private Greek tourism promotion body Marketing Greece.

With a prestigious lineup of speakers from both sectors, the conference focused on the ideal way to communicate Greece as a destination in 2021, following a year where the tourism sector was hit hard by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Minister: Fruitful dialogue, creative cooperation is crucial

Underlining that due to the “excellent cooperation” between the tourism ministry and sector professionals, Greece managed to rise to the occasion and open successfully to tourists in the midst of the pandemic this past summer, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis stressed that tourism is now up against the next big challenge: the year 2021.

“Next year will be crucial for the recovery of Greek tourism and for which we are already working hard both locally and abroad,” Minister Theoharis said, underlining that the competition next year will be fierce and for that Greek tourism must adapt to the new challenges that have emerged from the crisis.

Innovation and creativity are needed in order for Greece to maintain the leading role it earned and also maintain the added value of tourism for the national economy but also for society,” he said.

The minister added that fruitful dialogue and creative cooperation with the private sector will be crucial for how Greek tourism will respond in the post-covid era and to discover what the desired tourism model for “Greece of tomorrow” will be.

“By combining forces and through communication, we will bring Greek tourism to the place it deserves to be,” Minister Theoharis concluded.

Joining of forces is vital for Greece to send out ‘right message’

On his part, Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos stressed that Greece’s communication to markets abroad will play a decisive role in 2021, which will be a difficult year, one of great challenges as was 2020.

“The world has changed (due to the pandemic) and we have to adapt to these big changes by once again showing our ‘best face’, by learning from past mistakes and successes, and putting the right foundations for the future,” Retsos said.

Stressing the importance of communication in the post-Covid era, SETE’s president said the sector must rise to the challenge and use its perceptiveness and knowledge to find the ‘right tools’ in order to send out the “right message” to potential visitors.

“Such a difficult and demanding situation requires the joining of forces, unification, cooperation of all bodies in the private and public sector, he said.

At this point, Retsos said that forming a cooperation between the private and public sectors is a strategic aim of SETE and Marketing Greece for the good of Greek tourism.

“Because we as tourism professionals know very well that those who chose to walk alone did not do good and only brought harm to Greek tourism,” he underlined.

During the conference’s first session, representatives of public bodies, including Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis, the governors of the South Aegean (George Hatzimarkos) and Crete (Stavros Arnaoutakis) and the mayors of Athens (Kostas Bakoyannis), Thessaloniki (Konstantinos Zervas) and Trikala (Dimitris Papastergiou), gave their perspectives on the way to overcome the greatest crisis in the history of tourism, which is none other than through synergies with the private sector based on strategies and professionalism.

All representatives spoke of the joint effort of the public and private sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic which helped the opening of tourism in the summer.

“When everyone is united, difficulties can be overcome, and with this guiding us we can move on to the next day,” Fragakis said.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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