At the center of the international tourist promotion was the destination of Athens on April 19 and 20, through the organization of the 7th Travel Trade Athens.
A total of 147 representatives from leading companies of the Greek and foreign tourism industry participated online this year in the event-institution, implemented by the Development and Tourism Promotion Company of the Municipality of Athens (EATA) in collaboration with the European Organization of Tour Agents (ETOA).
During the two days of Travel Trade, 81 Greek companies in the tourism industry came in contact with 66 representatives of the international market, holding a total of more than 1.200 online meetings, with the aim of concluding agreements for future collaborations, at a critical time for " next day "of the tourism industry.
Through Travel Trade, the Greek capital "addressed" key target markets from Europe, America and Asia. The event was attended by representatives of major tourism companies from a total of 22 countries, including the United States, Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and France, who expressed their keen interest in the destination of Athens.
K. Bakoyannis: We are shaping the conditions that will attract tourism
In his speech, Mr. Costas Bakogiannis stressed, among other things, the importance of the event for the city of Athens in the effort to recover the tourism industry, especially at a time when tourism professionals are facing the harsh effects of the pandemic. At the same time, he referred to the important infrastructure projects that are currently underway in the city, proving that the municipal authority is dealing with the destination in its entirety. "For the Municipality of Athens, the daily life of the city is inextricably linked to tourism. No communication trick or campaign can create new or even stable tourism if the infrastructure, life and everyday life do not satisfy the resident of Athens himself. So, we are not investing in tourism to be able to change the city but vice versa. "We have started the changes that Athens has needed for decades in order to shape the conditions that will attract tourism", the Mayor of Athens stated characteristically.
Answering a question from Athens 9.84, the Mayor of Athens stressed that the big bet for the next day is to make up for lost time. He added that we must not let this crisis become an alibi for the loss of another generation.
Eftychios Vasilakis: We continue to believe and invest in the perspective and attractiveness of Athens
For his part, Mr. Eftychios Vasilakis stressed: "We continue to believe and invest in the perspective and attractiveness of Athens. A unique place to visit, and now with the new data, more and more a place to live and work. 2020 and 2021 with the pandemic, were and will be extremely difficult years for all urban centers and of course for Athens. That is why it is crucial to reaffirm, despite the current situation, our commitment to joint, coordinated actions that promote the city and the development of its product, building our common future. "
Giannis Paraschis: Environmental sustainability, "smart" digital transformation and innovation are the strategic axes of our effort
Mr. Giannis Paraschis, pointed out: "In the extremely difficult period we are going through, we continue and intensify our strategic cooperation for the coordinated and safe restart of aviation and tourism of our city. "Environmental sustainability, 'smart' digital transformation and innovation are strategic pillars of this collective effort for the competitiveness and development of our Athens in the post-COVID era."
Tim Fairhust: The tourism industry can, and will, help address the financial crisis
Mr. Tim Fairhust, among others, stressed: "We are very close to achieving safe and unhindered movement of travelers. The tourism industry can, and will, help address the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. The integrated strategic approach adopted by Athens as well as the importance that Greece attaches to tourism in general, lay the right foundations for the sustainable tourism recovery and the complete restart of the economy ".
Melina Daskalaki: We invest in the organization of "greenmeetings"
From the side of EATA, Ms. Melina Daskalaki pointed out: "Athens is preparing to host major international conferences in the coming years, which will be based entirely on sustainable practices. The Conference and Visitors Office of the Municipality of Athens, all this time is working hard to attract new conferences in the city, investing in the organization of "green meetings", which are designed and implemented in order not to burden the environment in the least. "Athens has the resources to be a model of" green experience "among other European cities".
As the current travel conditions did not allow foreign participants to visit Athens during the two-day event, the familiarization trips to the destination were postponed to May and June. The aim is for the visiting professionals to get acquainted with the points of tourist interest and the infrastructure of the city for the organization of physical conferences and business meetings in the coming years in the capital. Already, however, foreign participants had the opportunity to "tour" through two online tours of the most important historical sites of the city.
At this year's Travel Trade Athens, emphasis was also placed on the training of Greek tourism executives. In collaboration with major international tourism organizations, a comprehensive program of creative workshops was held, with different topics, in which more than 100 executives of the tourism industry from Greece had the opportunity to take part.
Travel Trade Athens renews the appointment with the tourism professionals for 2022.
As part of the 7th Travel Trade Athens, the Mayor of Athens Mr. Costas Bakogiannis, the President of Aegean Airlines Mr. Eftychios Vasilakis, the CEO of Athens International Airport Mr. Giannis Paraschis, the Policy Director of the European Tour Operators Organization Mr. Tim Fairhust and the President of EATA Mrs. Melina Daskalaki.