Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis expects last-minute bookings to play a decisive role in Greek tourism’s performance this year.
Speaking during the Virtual Greek Panorama online event on Thursday, Fragakis said that indications for this year’s tourism season are not the best at the moment due to the possibility of a third wave of the coronavirus (Covid-19) hitting Europe.
“At the moment the level of bookings is extremely low, but I believe that if we manage to get through the first half of 2021, the first signs of an improvement will begin to appear with the first arrivals and perhaps a very high percentage of last minute bookings,” the GNTO’s secretary general said.
Following updates he has received from the GNTO’s 14 offices abroad, Fragakis said that it appears that last-minute bookings is what will prevail for the 2021 tourism season.
“Despite the (current) low bookings, I believe that Greek tourism has a solid foundation and will prove to be more resistant than the coronavirus,” he underlined.
Vaccinations and rapid tests
Further commenting on the 2021 tourism season, the GNTO’s secretary general said that flexibility and adaptability are key to overcoming difficulties.
“Competition in 2021 will be fierce, but I am cautiously optimistic that we will do better, compared to last year,” Fragakis said, underlining that Greece this year will use “weapons” that the country did not have in 2020: vaccinations and rapid tests.
He also highlighted the health protocols being followed by tourism businesses throughout the country since last year.
3-year tourism campaign coming soon
Moreover, Fragakis referred to the GNTO’s upcoming three-year tourism campaign, which he said will be “adaptable and flexible” and will go beyond promoting the classic “sea and sun” model.
“We decided to not run a classic campaign for 2021, but to follow a three-year strategic plan to promote Greece and tourism,” he said, adding that a detailed plan has been drawn up, which provides several scenarios and can be adapted to changing data.
“This plan will begin to ‘unfold’ and be implemented with the 2021 campaign that will be presented soon,” the GNTO’s secretary general said.
The GNTO’s new campaign, which for the first time will have the input of tourism professionals of the private sector, will also focus on Greece’s mainland and mountainous regions, aiming to promote the whole country as one potential tourism destination and target specific audiences.
The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) is a communication sponsor of the Virtual Greek Panorama event.