Organized by the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) in collaboration with the Hellenic Association of Tourist and Travel Agencies (HATTA) and the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Travel & Tourist Agencies (FEDHATTA), the working session focused on the need for all parties involved to adapt to current and future challenges.
The meeting highlighted the need for all of the island’s suppliers to have a strong connection with local organizations and authorities and be updated on the latest events to ensure that the current strong holiday demand on both islands isn’t further disrupted.
According to South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos, who oversaw the safe evacuation and care of more than 25,000 holidaymakers, “life is now returning to normal for the entire island of Rhodes, including the few areas that were affected”.
The governor added that out of the 41 hotels forced to evacuate, 35 are already operational again.
Furthermore, Konstantinos Zikos, advisor to the Greek Minister of Tourism, and Efi Staylidiadi from the Greek National Tourism Organization, emphasized the importance of communicating the destination in a positive manner. They also informed that travel agents and tour operators that sell travel packages for Rhodes, could contact their local GNTO branch or send a message to email@example.com for media and communication support.
On their side, tour operators acknowledged the commitments of the Greek authorities as well as the local population for safeguarding visitors, and outlined the concerns they need to address with holidaymakers.
“Greece can better overcome such tragic developments by connecting, through ECTAA, to more than 80,000 companies located in Europe,” ECTAA Secretary General Eric Drésin said.
Concluding the meeting, ECTAA President Frank Oostdam said that Greece demonstrated “that it was able to find solutions to unexpected large scale events in a humane and effective way”
“This achievement should not be underestimated,” Oostdam said.
“The events of last week question the industry on the impact of climate change on its business model; this is why ECTAA, FEDHATTA and HATTA will hold a meeting in Athens in September to discuss with the Greek authorities how to adapt to the current and coming challenges and ensure that travel becomes more sustainable,” he added.
ECTAA (European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations) is the representative body for about 80,000 travel agents and tour operators in Europe, comprising the national associations of travel agents and tour operators from 30 European countries.