File Photo: The island of Santorini. Πηγή: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ
Greek News proudly announces its 9th campaign to help Greek tourism, by encouraging Greek-Americans and Philhellenes to visit Greece in the summer.
The campaign will run from May 21 to July 23, and during this period their weekly print issue and their web site Greek News Online will host messages from Greeks, Greek-Americans and Americans, along with stories on destinations, events, history, culture, etc. This year more emphasis will be placed on stories addressed to our English-speaking readership, as it is known that Greek speaker s maintain closer ties and have more regular contacts with Greece.
It’s initial “Go to Greece Campaign” – the first by any Hellenic media in the world – was launched in May 2010, just after Marfin’s tragic events, with a goal to improve the damaged image of our homeland in the United States; and at the same time, to encourage Greek Americans – through tourism -to help the “dry” from economic crisis country.
Since then, Greek News have been repeating every year this free promotional campaign of Greece, even now that Greek tourism is breaking every record. One reason is, that through frequent visits to the land of their ancestors, Greek Americans maintain close ties with Greece, learn its history and culture, meet their relatives; and the children start feeling proud for their Greek roots.
We do that free of charge because despite improvement of the country’s finances, the funds allocated for advertisement in the state budget are very limited, even for this profitable sector of the economy. For example, this year GNTO doesn’t have advertising budget for foreign media. Should we as a Greek media of the Diaspora show apathy?
By doing that we also show the patriotism of the Greeks of the Diaspora, expressing our solidarity with Greece and assisting its economy. Tourism is the only sector of the Greek economy generating jobs and attracting new investment. Campaigns like the one “Greek News” launched 9 years ago helped people to focus on efforts to attract tourists, by upgrading the services, improving the message, targeting special groups and markets and expanding the tourist season by showing all the alternative benefits Greece offers 365 days a year.
Two years ago campaign has set the goal to surpass 1,000,000 visitors from the United States. Although, we are approaching it, we still a bit behind its fulfillment. We believe the goal is feasible, especially after the increased number of directs flights to Greece during the high season, the improvement of Greece’s image and the economic climate. We can do it!
We can surpass the 1,000,000 visitors from America in 2018
So, this summer, let’s Go To Greece. Because Greece is beautiful and we love it; because is the cradle of civilization; because is the birthplace of our forefathers; and … because we will have fun.
Publisher / Editor
Minister of Tourism Elena Kountoura, in a message to the 9th Greek News campaign to boost Greek tourism, entitled ” This Summer, Let’s Go Greece “, extends an invitation to Greek Americans and Philhellenes to come to Greece with their families and friends for the their vacations and live the exciting high-level experiences that the country generously offers all year round.
Ms. Kountoura says that USA and Canada are high-priority markets, where the presence of Greece has been strengthened and a very dynamic promotional plan has been implemented by the Ministry of Tourism over the last three years.
“Through our stark negotiations and agreements, we have achieved to triple the number of non-stop flights to Greece for the summer season. The non-stop flight Dubai – Athens – New York has been a great success connecting since March 2017 Greece and the United States daily year-round. Arrivals has a double- digit growth over the past three years, with more than 1 million Americans and Canadians visiting Greece in 2017. We established close cooperation with the ASTA Travel Agents Association and hosted their annual ASTA Destination Expo in Greece, where they shared with us their excitement for our beautiful country and the Greek tourist product that they will be promoting in all coming years.”
Kountoura stressed the importance of the Greek Diaspora in the efforts to strengthen tourism, especially the new generations of Greeks abroad to visit the country and become familiar with their homeland.
“The Hellenes abroad and the Philhellenes are the lively bridge that connects Greece with the world”, she says.
Greece stands out as a world-renowned destination, a very friendly, safe and welcoming country known for its warm hospitality. It’s the most diverse complex of islands in the Mediterranean and Europe, with the longest coastline, more than 100 islands, and its stunning mainland, that offers unparalleled authentic travel experiences.
Our target has been to establish Greece as a global attractive destination for tourism 365 days a year. The national and regional tourism policy that we have been successfully implementing since 2015 has led to historical records in all tourism figures. We have increased inbound tourism by 25% with over 7% annual growth rates in the last three years. In 2017, we achieved record-breaking revenue and arrivals, with more than 30 million international visitors. 2018 began with a further double-digit growth and is an exceptional tourism year for Greece.
We extended the summer season in several Greek destinations, and our visitors enjoy the Greek summer from March to November. We enhanced winter tourism. We have been promoting not only the popular but also new Greek destinations in our traditional and emerging new source markets abroad. We developed thematic tourism and attracted investments of high added value. Few countries in the world offer such a wide range of destinations and themed tourist products that combine history and culture of global radiance, religious treasures, outdoor activities in our reach nature, high-end health and wellness services, entertainment, famous nightlife, great shopping, excellent gastronomy and local products, and, of course, the sun, the Greek light, the amazing crystal-clear blue waters. Greece is also a top choice for city trips, wedding tourism, conferences and business meetings, cruises, yachting, diving and luxury vacation.
The US and Canada are priority markets for us. We have strengthened our presence and implemented a very dynamic promotional plan over the past three years. Through our stark negotiations and agreements, we have achieved to triple the number of non-stop flights to Greece for the summer season. The non-stop flight Dubai – Athens – New York has been a great success connecting since March 2017 Greece and the United States daily year-round. Arrivals has a double- digit growth over the past three years, with more than 1 million Americans and Canadians visiting Greece in 2017. We established close cooperation with the ASTA Travel Agents Association and hosted their annual ASTA Destination Expo in Greece, where they shared with us their excitement for our beautiful country and the Greek tourist product that they will be promoting in all coming years.
Our strong ties with the Hellenes and the Church and the strong desire of Greek expatriates to visit Greece are reflected in our intensive efforts to continuously enhance relations and cooperation in tourism. We emphasized on the Diaspora, because it is very important for us that new generations of Greeks abroad visit and become familiar with their homeland. The Hellenes abroad and the Philhellenes are the lively bridge that connects Greece with the world. They promote the Greek culture, the high ideals and values, the customs and traditions, the beauty of our country and its people.
You are the best ambassadors Greece can have. Our success in tourism is also yours; it’s Greece’s success. On the occasion of this Greek News campaign for the 9th consecutive year, I invite you to come to Greece with your family and friends for your holidays and enjoy the amazing experiences that our country generously offers year-round as a truly top-of-the-mind destination.
Minister of Tourism
Nikos Pappas, Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information said in a message for the 9th Campaign of the “Greek News” to promote Greek Tourism : “The efforts of those of us who live in Greece would have not be productive if our expatriates were not standing by us”, Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information, Nikos Pappas said in a message for the 9th Campaign of the “Greek News” to promote Greek Tourism, entitled “Let’s Go to Greece this summer”.
Pappas notes that in August, Greece is coming out of a long period of crisis and leaves behind eight difficult years, during which Greeks suffered much.
“Dear friends, in August, Greece is entering a new era; a period of normality and financial stability. On this occasion, we invite you to be with us. We invite you, not just in our homeland, but in the New Era of Greece; a Greece that makes us all proud, “Nikos Pappas says in his message.
At the same time, Pappas congratulates “Greek News” for its 9th annual campaign, describing the contribution of the Greek American Community newspaper to the common struggle as “essential and commendable”.
“It would be negligent on my part if I did not recognize it. It would be a mistake if I did not praise this selfless offer “, Minister Pappas added.
In August, Greece is coming out of a long period of crisis. It leaves behind eight difficult years, during which Greeks suffered a lot and made considerable and painful efforts in order for the country to stand again on its own feet.
In this course things were not rosy. There have been decisions leading to new burdens and deadlocks. But there was also a time when a combination of politics prevailed, and although it required sacrifices, at the same time it offered many people a space to breathe, a protection net for the financially weak, access to health and education for all and opportunities for our young people.
The reversal of the negative course has begun for some years now. Growth has returned and consolidated in the country; unemployment fell by 7 points, new jobs reached 320 thousand, while Greece gained an important and respected place among its partners. We created alliances, rebuilding old “friendships”, laying the foundation for becoming a hub for energy, telecommunications and trade; and now Greece is a pillar of stability in a critical region.
There were many who contributed to this effort, mostly the Greeks themselves; those who reside in our country, but also all of you who live and work abroad. The efforts of those of us who live in Greece would have not been as productive if our expatriates were not standing by us; the Greeks abroad, as we call them; the Greeks who do not forget their “home”, to be more precise.
We know that you are the best “ambassadors” of Greece. We know that whenever we need you, you are by our side working for the interests of the country.
In this context lies the effort of “Greek News”, which continues for 9 consecutive years and very important campaign with tangible results, to support Greece; either by mobilizing our Greek Omogeneia or with initiatives to reverse the negative climate for our country. This contribution to the common struggle is also considered to be substantial and commendable. It would be negligent on my part if I did not recognize it. It would be a mistake if I did not praise this selfless offer.
Dear friends, in August, Greece is entering a new era; a period of normality and financial stability. On this occasion, we invite you to be with us. We invite you, not just in our homeland, but in the New Era of Greece; a Greece that makes us all proud.
Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information