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Greece Prepares to Meet New Post-pandemic Tourist Demands

A 10-year strategy to meet new traveler demands in the post-Covid-19 era is the next step to ensure Greece maintains its competitive edge as a leading tourism destination, said Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki during her visit to Heraklion, Crete.

Citing pre-booking data collected so far, Zacharaki reiterated that signs for the year ahead were “encouraging”.

“Those who have the pulse of the first bookings tell us that they are up by 30 percent. The messages are very optimistic from our traditional markets such as the UK, Germany and France, but of course, we never stop looking to new markets,” she said.

Zacharaki went on to express concern for travelers from Russia and the Ukraine in view of recent developments, clarifying that tourism is influenced by international developments.

She went on to refer to ministry initiatives and actions, including the creation of new specialized seals for destinations and enterprises such as breweries, wineries and olive mills, as well as hotels that offer pet-friendly services and businesses running glamping accommodation sites.

Zacharaki said a relevant ministerial decision would soon enact the seals which will help enterprises boost revenues and at the same time enhance the visitor experience.

She also announced ministry plans to create a National Wine Tourism Council as part of efforts to tap into enotourism and a website where all visitable and ministry-certified wineries would be listed. Zacharaki said a new wine tourist conference was scheduled for Crete. 

Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki

The minister went on to underline the importance of EU and national recovery funding, 17 million euros of which will be channeled into agrotourism and gastronomy.

She referred to the key role special destination management bodies will play in assisting local governments to meet their tourism goals through public-private partnerships.

Lastly, Zacharaki said a 10-year tourism strategy focusing on the sustainability of the sector had been submitted to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis 

Looking ahead, the minister said Greece can lead the way in the next “golden decade”.

In relevant news, echoing Zacharaki and Tourism Minister Vassilis KikiliasGreek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis also expressed his confidence for a good year ahead citing pre-bookings for the Clean Monday (March 7) three-day holiday. 

Fragakis also presented public broadcaster ERT with the GNTO’s new campaign promoting weekend city break holidays. Greekend* – *end your week like a Greek, is part of the ongoing “All You Want is Greece” campaign.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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