Conference held to highlight GNTO’s strategies over past six months


Acting Minister of Tourism, Greece, Elena Kountoura held a press conference to highlight the strategies and activities undertaken by Greece National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) over the last six months to promote the destination.

Throughout the conference, Kountoura highlighted the strategic direction for the development and promotion of Greece’s tourism product, as well as what has been achieved so far and the schedule for what is to follow. The six month period covered November 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016 as part of Greece’s three-year plan (from 2014 – 2016).

The Minister noted expressed that tourism is a priority for the government and noted that achieving the improvement of tourism’s basic performance came with hard work and a targeted action plan, while for 2016 the evidence so far from both Greece’s sources and from abroad point to the tourism industry making an upward turn.

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“Greek tourism is turning towards quality and we are promoting Greece as a unique touristic destination, as the most competitive destination in Europe, in terms of quality and price, and at the same time as the most attractive cluster of islands in the Mediterranean which constitutes a safe destination with authentic thematic tourism experiences 12 months a year,” Kountoura said.

Secretary general, GNTO, Demetris Trifonopoulos also spoke at the conference and relayed in-depth about how GNTO has been active over the last six months to promote Greece.

Trifonopoulos pointed out that Greece’s touristic identity is recognised as one of the most dynamic and unique brands worldwide.

He stated that GNTO’s central targets are: the brand image building of the country as a leading touristic destination as well as its communication entities; the continued strong presence of Greece in the international tourism market and especially at the points where the world’s traveller-citizens are inspired and choose anything that concerns their planned trip; and increasing Greece’s brand awareness as an attractive tourism destination, which can respond to the specific demands of modern travellers.

To this end, Trifonopoulos highlighted specifically how these goals are being met: “At the core of our actions is the lengthening of the touristic period; maintaining and increasing the market share for Greek tourism’s traditional markets; increasing receipts from tourism; and targeted penetration of selected new markets, such as China, Korea, Iran, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, aside from the traditional markets of Germany, the UK, France and Italy.”

Other goals mentioned included creating new products such as gastronomy tourism, canoe-kayaking, diving parks, and showcasing Greece’s lesser known destinations as value for money for visitors.

In terms of targeting selected destinations, Trifonopoulos relayed that the country is being promoted in selected in-flight magazines such as: United Airlines, Lufthansa, Emirates Airline, Aeroflot, Delta Airlines, Swiss Airlines and easyJet.

He added that at the same time GNTO’s presence at travel industry exhibitions increased from 28 in 2015 to 34 by the end of 2016.

For the MENA region, these shows include Arabian Travel Market in Dubai and Tehran International Tourism Exhibition in Iran. In addition to this, fam trips and press trips were hosted to attract the Saudi and Iranian markets.

In addition to this, Trifonopoulos revealed that digital promotion is a high priority for GNTO. As a result, GNTO is promoting its islands through Google and Facebook. For the US and Arab markets, GNTO is promoting a video of Lesbos and East Aegean island on Yahoo.