Greece is more than sun and beaches, 'it has a winter too'

Interview with national tourism chief Angela Gerekou

24 November, 14:43

    (by Patrizio Nissirio) (ANSAmed) - ATHENS, 24 NOV - "Greece's strategy is to expand the destinations people would want to visit across the country, and to encourage tourists to explore Greece not just in summer, but winter too," ANSAmed was told Thursday by Angela Gerekou, president of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO).

    Gerekou noted that, "in our new campaigns - 'Greece has a winter too', is the slogan - we are make it very clear that Greece is not just sun and beaches, and it's not only the islands. We have also beautiful beaches in northern Greece, and western Greece" that almost no one is aware of.

    She also stressed that, "now in GNTO our main target is to promote" such lesser-known areas of the country.

    "There's plenty of beauty to be found in Greece, no matter where you are in the country. Greece can be always in season," she said.

    The current year looks set to end on a positive note, she adds, surpassing pre-pandemic 2019.

    "We still have tourism till December," she pointed out.

    "Greek tourism is heading for an excellent year, supporting public revenue, despite inflationary pressures worldwide and the environment of high uncertainty that has emerged following the energy crisis." According to Gerekou, Greece is setting a new record for tourism between the months of October and December.

    "Revenues for 2022 have already surpassed the 18.2 billion euros generated in 2019. At the moment, Greece is set to have earned around nineteen billion euros for the current year," she added, noting that many Italian tourists continue to visit the country.

    Gerekou then outlined GNTO's main priorities for the immediate future, with a focus on 2023.

    "For Greece, our primary production and cultural heritage are huge "national funds", which also strengthen and enrich the Hospitality Economy. At the Ministry of Tourism and the GNTO, we give special emphasis to mixing Greek Hospitality, Food and Culture as organically as we can. Highlighting this triptych is a priority for us," she said.

    "In this context," she added, "last April, on my own initiative, we organized the "1st Symposium Greece the Country of EF ZIN: the sustainable Economy of Hospitality in connection with the Greek Diet and Culture''.

    "The whole country offers a huge variety of experiences, that strengthen and rejuvenate the body, spirit and soul of the visitor," she continued.

    "EF ZIN (which refers essentially to physical and spiritual wellbeing) is the ancient Greek philosophy and way of living that empowers body, mind and soul. Translated into the needs of the modern man, EF ZIN is the good nutrition - the Greek Mediterranean diet - exercising close to nature, the rejuvenation at sea and in our thermal springs, cultivation and empowerment of the spirit, positive thoughts, respect for one another, respect for the environment, and to the future generations," she wrote.

    Among the attractions in 2023, she noted, in addition to traditional events such as the festival of Athens and Epidaurus, the city of Eleusis - next year's "Cultural Capital of Europe" (the complete program is at https://2023eleusis.eu/) - is turning into a new tourist destination.

    Many people from across Europe are expected to "inundate the historic city of Western Attica next year", she added.

    "Eleusis, as one of the five Holy Cities of antiquity, possesses rare archaeological wealth. The temple of Demeter and Persephone, the entrance of the Underworld at the Plutonium, the Caryatids of the Propylaea and the solid walls create one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Greece," she concluded.

    (ANSAmed).

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