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Op-Ed: ‘Looking Towards Tourism with Optimism, Under a New Operating Model’ – Aris Marinis

Aris Marinis, the president of the General Panhellenic Federation of Tourism Enterprises (GEPOET), tells us how the need for a travel consultant is expected to rise in order to cover customer wishes in the post-coronavirus era.

The pandemic crisis has been a significant shock to us all, to both tourists and professionals. The tourism industry globally has entered a new era during which the safety of travelers will play the most significant role. As such, during the forthcoming years, travelers around the world are expected to “avoid” the massive tourist activities and look forward to more unique, personalized experiences.

There has definitely been a trend towards health and well-being during the last decade, combined with environmental concerns, which is now stronger than ever before. Sustainability, respect and adjustment to the local culture and society and technological efficiency are ideas that will dominate tourism in the years to come.

‘In his new role the travel agent is expected to serve as a “concierge”, adding special services and local experiences depending on customer’s desires.’

For the sector of travel agencies and coaches the challenges are plenty, as the massive, standardized services belong to the past. Organized excursions and group travelling will still remain popular but in a different way, more inspired and unique, adjusted to customer needs. So the need for a travel consultant is expected to rise in order to cover customer wishes, mainly through digitalized services using apps or internet, the whole year around. In his new role the travel agent is expected to serve as a “concierge”, adding special services and local experiences depending on customer’s desires.

The strongest message that needs to be sent to the global audience is that Greece is a safe destination, with professionals, staff and a satisfying percent of the population vaccinated for Covid19.

‘Additional efforts must be given to the promotion of Greece as a health tourism destination – in its widest definition…’

For the years to come the country should invest in the diversity of the experiences that can offer, its natural beauty, cultural and spiritual events of the local communities, well-being services and alternative tourism activities. Additional efforts must be given to the promotion of Greece as a health tourism destination – in its widest definition – as well as a destination that promotes sustainability, environmental protection, e-mobility and energy independence.

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