DURING THE LAST DECADES, GREECE HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR TOURIST DESTINATIONS OF THE WORLD
During the last decades, Greece has become one of the most popular tourist destinations of the world. I believe that in the following years, we can win the bet of enriching and upgrading Greek tourism product. Our goal is to invest in the comparative advantages that differentiate us from our competitors. Greece will always rely on the "Sun-Sea" model, but is not enough. We need to move faster in other directions, such as alternative forms of tourism. The authenticity of our country and our people is an important element that we must invest on, in order to create a holistic travel experience that will attract more travelers. Safety is another significant advantage of Greece that we must also promote as part of our tourism product.
Our priorities, as expressed by the Ministry of Tourism, are the enrichment of our product, the introduction of new destinations within the country, the extension of the tourist season, the investment in diversity. The 10-year strategic plan, which is already developed by the Ministry, will be the country's roadmap for our tourism. It shows the path we need to take in order to increase travel arrivals quantitatively, improve the quality of our services and achieve more revenue.
The better future of our tourism also depends on many internal factors. The key word is cooperation. Synergies between central government, regional government, businesses and individuals can deliver the desired result, always based on a specific strategy. That is why the Regional Tourism Council has been established, an extremely important body that will help all stakeholders to implement our strategy. At the institutional level, the law on diving tourism and tourism education is also being prepared. They both are very important initiatives. Specifically, in so-called thematic tourism, we have a lot of work to do. At the institutional level, we must remove bureaucratic obstacles and we are also preparing for targeted promotional campaign.
GNTO is one of the most important “arms” for implementing Greece's tourism policy. Despite the problems and reduced budgets of recent years, GNTO can fulfill its role more effectively. We already have an aggressive plan to promote our country around the globe. Our promotional campaign will begin in January 2020, earlier than ever before and is targeting the first quarter of 2020, both in mature markets and in emerging markets. We are enhancing the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product for the coming year and at the same time we are planning our long term strategy.
Personally, I am very optimistic about 2020 as I think we have nothing to fear for the upcoming tourist season. Obviously we do not relax. We are constantly alert both abroad and in Greece. That is the reason we support efforts such as the 6th Athens International Tourism Fair in Athens. I wish you success, constructive meetings and good results for all the participants.
G.S. GNTO Dimitris Fragakis