News: Broader approach to Greek tourism urged

Greece’s new tourism minister has urged the UK travel industry to broaden its approach to the country, selling holidays to Greece beyond the traditional May to September summer period, reports www.travelweekly.co.uk

Tourist minister Fanny Palli-Petralia has described Greece's multi-billion dollar investment prior to hosting the Olympic Games as possibly the most significant rebranding exercise a European country has ever undergone.  By showcasing Greece’s modern developments alongside its cultural and historical heritage, the Olympics “repositioned Greece in the world’s eyes,” she said.

“Since summer 2005, we have received an amazing response from the worldwide tourism industry. Visits to Greece were up 13% last year and we are expecting the same increase this year,” she continued.

Greece attracts around 13 million tourists a year – a figure higher than its entire population!  Tourism contributes 18% of the country’s gross domestic product and more than 10% of overall employment growth.

The minister said new government grants to help develop agritourism and assist with hotel upgrades as well as healthy private sector investment will further diversify the Greek holiday market.

“Our product has diversified to include city breaks, culinary tours, hiking and walking, spa and religious tourism," she said.

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