GNTO to Support Ioannina, Epirus, as Top Tourist Destination
Linking Ioannina airport with international destinations in winter, promoting the northern Greece town as a city break destination and reaching out to new markets topped the agenda of talks between hoteliers and Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis.
The capital of the Region of Epirus, northwestern Greece, Ioannina is one of the largest cities in Greece, rich in multicultural features.
Fragakis, who met with Ioannina Hoteliers Association representatives, local tourism professionals and officials during his recent visit to Ioannina, pledged to include the city in promotional actions in the coming period.
“The GNTO will actively support the effort to open to new markets, attract more flights and will help to further enhance visibility abroad,” said Fragakis adding that the goal is to ensure that a destination maintains “a remarkable present and an equally strong future”.
Among others, Ioannina Hoteliers Association President Stathis Sioutis said promoting the city and the wider region to target markets such as Central Europe, France, Albania, Poland, Cyprus and Israel was a top priority.
In this direction, earlier this year, AEGEAN announced plans to boost its activity in the Israeli market adding new flights from Ioannina to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
Sioutis also underlined the importance of including Ioannina Airport in airline agreements for flights and charter flights to the region in the winter underlining the popularity of Epirus as a leading winter destination, and called for the regulation of short-term rental activity, a reduction in VAT to 6.5 percent and the elimination of a special accommodation tax.
“Cooperation is essential for the promotion of our tourism product,” said Sioutis. “Ioannina prefecture has enormous prospects for development and it is in our interests to make the most of these.”
“Epirus and Ioannina in particular are among the most up-and-coming tourist destinations in Greece,” said Fragakis, adding that it is a government priority to support and showcase emerging destinations.