The Greek Tourism Ministry is casting the spotlight on Western Greece as part of its ongoing promotion plan which includes introducing lesser-known destinations.
“We are showcasing Western Greece as a tourist destination in its own right,” said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias during the 10th Regional Growth Conference held in Patra this week.
Kikilias referred to regional and local growth generated by tourism and particularly for Western Greece, which has the potential to cater to tourists all year round.
“Western Greece, Achaia, Etoloakarnania, and Ilia can be a huge project with very large profit margins both for employees and for professionals in tourism,” he said, referring to the added value for local communities created by attracting large investments from abroad and the development of basic infrastructure projects.
Key to development is the diversification of the tourism product, said Kikilias, which includes linking tourism enterprises and experiences with the primary sector and creating special interest tourism products that will attract visitors all year round.
Especially for the Western Greece region there is still much that can be done through cultural routes, enhancing wine tourism, spa tourism and cruise tourism, he said, praising efforts by the regional authority to promote local products abroad to Japan and Korea.
“Thematic tourism strengthens our goal to extend the tourist season, which translates into more income for the average Greek family and business,” he said.
Lastly, Kikilias said he expected 2022 to be a good year. “Let’s see at the end of 2022 how many German tourists will have come to Ilia. At the moment there is a 50 percent increase in tourist flows from TUI,” he said, adding that French travelers are also expected to visit Achaia, Etoloakarnania and Ilia, “as Greece is a top choice this year among French tourists”. Other source markets for the region, according to Kikilias, are Romania, Serbia, and the US.
Last year, the Western Greece Region presented its new destination identity “Olympia Land” through its “Epic West” tourism campaign.