“This year’s tourism season will be better than last year’s,” Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said on Friday to governors, vice governors and representatives from Greece’s 13 regions.
Speaking during the 13th meeting of the Regional Tourism Council, held via teleconference, the minister focused on Greece’s tourism opening this year in accordance with the country’s 10-year strategic plan for the sector.
The minister underlined that the 10-year strategy will be launched in the midst of “a particularly difficult year”, in terms of challenges and competition.
“Now is the opportunity to take advantage of the good image our country has abroad… 2021 will be better than last year, as Covid-19 vaccinations will proceed at the same time,” Theoharis said.
3 pillars for Greek tourism opening
Theoharis unveiled the three pillars for Greece’s tourism opening for 2021, which include promoting Greece through a new campaign of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO); improving and implementing health protocols in tourism businesses; and setting movement protocols.
According to Theoharis, following contacts with other countries, the ministry sees a high interest in Greece as a tourism destination in the Mediterranean and Southern Europe.
“Our main goal, both for 2021 and in the long run, is to attract all markets and mitigate seasonality,” he highlighted
It should be mentioned that Theoharis recently signed an agreement to strengthen bilateral relations in the field of tourism between Greece and Israel. The two countries also agreed on a ‘green passport’ that will allow Israeli citizens vaccinated against the coronavirus (Covid-19) to visit Greece without restrictions such as quarantine.
Moreover, the minister pointed out the importance of establishing Destination Management and Promotion Organizations (DMMOs) for the further upgrading of Greece’s domestic tourism product, through the cooperation of private and public sector in the long run, with the main axes being strategy and promotion.
The teleconference of the 13th meeting of the Regional Tourism Council was also attended by Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki, the Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development Viki Loizou and GNTO Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis.
‘2021 is a year of challenges’
On her part, Zacharaki highlighted the ministry’s plans regarding tourism education and promoting special forms of tourism in 2021, which she sees as a year “full of challenges but also opportunities”.
The deputy minister stressed that all tourism promotion actions of the regions need to be coordinated with those of the ministry and the GNTO towards a “unified strategic direction”, focused on each area’s special features in order to attract visitors to all of the country’s destinations.
“This goal should be achieved without leaving any destinations out, by offering a combined, quality tourism product, which will be characterized by authenticity and uniqueness,” she said.
During the meeting, reference was also made to the further development of the Visit Greece app, which will facilitate tourists by immediately providing useful information straight to their mobile phone.
The teleconference was also attended by the governors of Central Macedonia, Apostolos Tzitzikostas; the Ionian Islands, Rodi Kratsa; the Peloponnese, Panagiotis Nikas; and Central Greece, Fanis Spanos.