Keeping tourists in Athens for longer stays is a top priority for Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis, who is expecting the Greek capital to beat pre-pandemic 2019 tourist arrival levels this year.
“Our goal is to increase the number of days tourists stay in Athens to four days from the current two and a half or three,” said Bakoyannis speaking to SKAI radio.
To achieve this goal, Bakoyannis said actions had been taken including upgrading the overall city experience to include other sites beyond the traditional attractions in Plaka, Thisseio and Acropolis.
In this direction, the mayor referred to the regeneration of the Plato Academy Park (Akadimia Platonos). The urban regeneration project is starting “immediately and our goal is to establish it into a tourist destination”.
He went on to add that creating the City of Athens Museum was also on the agenda.
Additionally, he said a safe and clean city will go a long way towards Athens’ reputation, adding that in September, 45 underground rubbish bins will be installed in 45 neighborhoods.
A key issue to be discussed in an upcoming city council meeting is identifying parking solutions for tourist buses. Bakoyannis said a new regulatory framework would be tabled in the coming weeks that will ensure tourist bus stops without causing traffic problems or road blockages.
Lastly, referring to the thorny issue of protests in the city center, a common phenomenon in Athens bringing traffic to a standstill, Bakoyannis stressed that the law should be implemented and sent a letter to responsible ministers calling for a ban on demonstrations in the city center on working days.