European travel industry representatives will meet in Thessaloniki to discuss the future of tourism in the context of the upcoming European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations’ (ECTAA) Autumn Meeting.
The two-day event, which will run during November 24 and 25, will see delegates from 30 countries discuss current travel trends and important developments at a European policy level.
“We are very much aware that there is a climate emergency, and the industry needs to act to make travel more sustainable,” said ECTAA President Frank Oostdam.
To this end, a range of high-level speakers will provide insight into the changing customer demands for sustainable travel, tools to calculate and display the carbon footprint of holiday packages at point of sale, as well as sustainable policies and best practices implemented by destinations.
Delegates will also discuss how to overcome the challenges of labor shortages since, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the shortages are most acute in the travel agency segment.
“More efforts need to be made to close the skills gap in our industry and some ECTAA Members will be showcasing innovative best practices in addressing these key challenges, during our meeting in Thessaloniki,” said ECTAA Secretary General Eric Drésin.
In the aforementioned discussion framework, speakers will also share their view on how training, reskilling and upskilling schemes aimed at equipping workforce with new and improved skills can help the retention of and recruitment of new staff in the tourism industry.
Greece is ECTAA’s ‘Preferred Destination’ for 2022
ECTAA chose Thessaloniki for its autumn meeting in the context of its “Preferred Destination” program which, in collaboration with the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), this year promotes Greece to all EU member countries and affiliated international markets.
“Athens and the South Aegean archipelago are the ‘traditional destinations’, but Greece is so much more,” said ECTAA’s president, Frank Oostdam.
He underlined that the country “offers a world of possibilities” in a tourism universe where contemporary travelers “are eager to travel more sustainably, to leave the beaten tracks and reconnect with culture and nature.”
“Our role as travel advisors is to guide travelers to new places, discover unknown gems, enjoy with both curiosity and respect,” Oostdam added.
ECTAA’s autumn meeting in Thessaloniki is supported by GNTO, the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist & Travel Agencies (FEDHATTA) , the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA), the Region of Central Macedonia, the city of Thessaloniki and the tourism organizations of Thessaloniki and Halkidiki.
Following Thessaloniki’s event, a group of ECTAA members will participate in a three – day fam trip in Thessaly.