Greece Reports Record Arrivals; Looks Ahead to 2014

Representatives of Marketing Greece attending World Travel Market  in London are reporting that Greece’s tourism industry is experiencing healthy growth and leading the country’s economic recovery. At the show, Marketing Greece chairman Andreas Andreadis and members of the new private entity’s board of directors, Andreas Stylianopoulos and Agapi Sbokou, discussed the progress of and prospects for Greek tourism.

Over the past year, Greece has seen significant increases in key tourism indicators, including a new record for arrivals at an estimated 17.5 million. Tourism revenues for January-August rose 13.7 percent compared with the same period in 2012. The trend seems poised to continue: Marketing Greece has already noted a 10 percent increase in early bookings for 2014.

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Andreadis said that Marketing Greece would be implementing a very specific plan of action in target markets. The key goals of this plan involve an increase in annual arrivals to 22-24 million, average expenditure per visitor of 800 euros and direct revenues totaling 33 billion euros.

“If these goals are achieved, tourism will contribute 20 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product,” he said.

In response to questions as to how these goals would be achieved, Marketing Greece representatives noted that, for the first time, Greece has adopted a very specific strategic plan for tourism development and, at the same time, is promoting a brand new portfolio of travel experiences divided into six thematic axes: sun and sea, conference tourism, city breaks, cultural tourism, nautical tourism and health and wellness tourism. Based on these axes, Marketing Greece is devising and promoting product sub-categories that aim to attract greater numbers of visitors, who will stay for longer and increase their expenditure on business or leisure travel.

Andreadis said the aim of the company’s presence in London was to develop relations with the right partners and organisations in order to promote Greece in the most effective way and ensure the country reclaims its place among the top destination choices of travelers worldwide.

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Marketing Greece also met with key tourism organisations, such as Brand USA, to exchange opinions and explore the potential for collaboration in order to further enhance the promotion of Greece as a tourism destination worldwide.