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Greece in Talks with Airlines, Tour Operators to Boost Tourism

Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis.

The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) is currently discussing with leading airlines and tour operators on ways to cooperate in order to promote Greece’s tourism product to markets abroad, the organization’s secretary general, Dimitris Fragakis, said on Friday.

Speaking during an interview on Hellenic Parliament (Vouli) TV Channel, Fragakis stressed that the post-pandemic era will be very different for travel and tourism and that the GNTO is looking to partner with leading tourism players to promote Greece to international markets.

“The way one travels and the way a destination is chosen will change, and we are preparing for these new trends. For months now, we have been in negotiations with airlines and tour operators abroad with regard to advertising agreements,” he said.

Fragagis said the GNTO has a budget that can exceed 9 million euros for advertising this year.

“All the messages we are receiving on an international level are making us optimistic, as there is a high demand for our country. Greece is in the top three European countries in demand for summer vacations,” he said, highlighting that as vaccination progresses, the market will respond even more.

“Greek tourism can play a leading role this year,” the GNTO’s secretary general said.

Three-year promotion strategy for Greek tourism

Moreover, Fragakis spoke of the GNTO’s plans to launch a comprehensive three-year promotion strategy for Greek tourism.

According to the GNTO’s secretary general, Greek tourism’s current model, which traditionally promotes mainly “Sun and Sea”, will remain the core but will be enriched with new experience tourism forms.

“Priorities this year for the GNTO include the promotion of Greek gastronomy, maritime tourism, outdoor activities and wellness tourism,” he said, adding that the organization remains committed to its goal to further strengthen Greece’s tourist product internationally and extend the season, in cooperation with the local communities.

Fragakis also referred to last year’s unprecedented conditions for the sector, with the  coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic having caused severe “damage” to the global tourism industry, with losses in 2020 reaching 86 percent for international tourism and 80 percent for Greece.

“Despite the difficult situation, Greek tourism last year managed to save some 20 percent of its 2019 revenues and bring the country receipts of 4.2 billion euros,” he said.

Greece this  year will officially open to tourism by May 14 under the slogan “All you want is Greece”.

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