05 March, 2005
NEW YORK 5/3/2005 (ANA/P.Panayiotou)
According to Tourism Development Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, Greece is promoting its modern image after many years and through a comprehensive program is trying to significantly increase tourist arrivals to Greece from the US.
Avramopoulos, who is currently in New York, met with various members of the tourism industry here on Thursday and Friday. At 1:30 p.m. local time, he would be inaugurating the New York Times' Travel Show.
In comments he made to the Athens News Agency, Avramopoulos said that in approximately 1-2 months, a major conference will be held, in which members of the US tourism industry and of all other sectors involved in promoting tourism will be participating. The conference's focus will be on issues and factors that affect efforts to promote Greece as a tourist destination in the US market.
The minister also said that the Greek-American presence will be capitalized upon for this purpose and announced that branches of the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT) will open in Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago, while the existing New York branch will be further reinforced.
Additionally, Avramopoulos presented the Greek government's tourism policy in detail at a seminar organized by the Greek-American Commercial Chamber. Among other things, he underscored the good relations existing between Greece and the US, and the willingness of both sides to further strengthen those ties.
Finally, the minister also met with Archbishop of America Demetrios and members of the Archdiocese Council. After the meeting, Avramopoulos made reference to the historic role the Greek Orthodox Church has played and continues to play in the US and spoke about the new prospects of Greek tourism and the US market.
The State Ministry's Secretary General for Information Panos Livadas, who is accompanying Avramopoulos in New York, told members of the Greek-American press that "Our country has sent and continues to send the message - and we spell this out loud and clear - that we can do wonders, we can rise to great challenges."
Livadas presented an analytical study on Greece's communication policy post-Olympics and the country's upgraded role and image.
He also mentioned some of Greece's major accomplishments in the past year saying: "In 2004, Greece proved to the world that it can rise to major challenges: sports, such as our victory in the Euro 2004 championship; politics, such as our election - after a half century - to the UN Security Council; significant geopolitical developments, such as assuming the presidency of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization; our participation in all the humanitarian efforts of the UN, the tsunami, (...), hurricane Ivan, (...) and many others. And of course, our crowning success, the successful staging on many levels - according to everyone - of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Successes such as these have put us back on the world map."
Livadas presented the results of the study, carried out by the general secretariat under the direction of State Minister Theodoros Roussopoulos, according to which the perception of Greece has changed worldwide. While people still associate hospitality, fun, sun and sea with Greece, new characteristics, such as creativity, discipline, security, teamwork, progress and high-quality services have also become associated with the country. As a result, the secretary general said that Greece is called upon to capitalize on this repositioning and to communicate its unique identity and image to the world.
Source: Athens News Agency