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Athens and Thessaloniki are establishing the European Miami

22 December 2013 / 19:12:19  GRReporter
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The coastal area of Athens will be presented to the international markets as the "European Miami within the campaign for the advertisement of Athens as a City Break destination.

This was noted by Chairman of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises Andreas Andreadis. He added that such tactics will be implemented within the campaign for the advertisement of Thessaloniki as a City Break destination with a focus on the coastal zone. Andreas Andreadis referred to the study of McKinsey, commissioned by the Union, and listed the initiatives which will be undertaken in order to develop the main products of Greek tourism. The presentation of the coastal areas of Athens and Thessaloniki are among the highest priorities for the development of City Break tourism via Marketing Greece, although this will require certain organizational actions.

As for Athens, the programme for the presentation and advertisement will include the Argosaronikos Islands.

The objectives of City Break

In particular, in terms of the development of City Break tourism in the two cities, the study suggests a focus on foreign markets with potential visitors for whom the flight will last up to four hours. It also recommends the creation of an extensive programme of events, of which three or four should include traditional annual events such as the Athens marathon, as well as the creation of thematic routes with the inclusion of various elements (climate, culture, nightlife, sea, etc.).

Also, short themed walks should be created (with a duration of 1-2 hours) in areas where there is easy access for pedestrians. The routes may include selected sights and experiences (e.g., museums, archaeological sites, coastal streets, etc.).

It is worth noting that an initiative of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises has already begun in this regard in conjunction with Eleftherios Venizelos Airport for the creation of a "City Map" for tourists and visitors of Athens.

In addition, activities for the development of urban tourism in Greece include the new master plan for tourism which provides for the modernization and improvement of the quality of the hotel capacity in urban areas, with the construction of new facilities of high standards, the parallel elimination of outdated facilities and the conversion of buildings with various uses into hotel units. Furthermore, for the development of congress tourism in Greece, the study suggests that three main types should be covered (health, technological and scientific tourism), while using Greece’s connection to other areas such as agriculture and transport.

The study also suggests an emphasis on the organization of small and medium-sized events, since up to 1,000 people take part in 85% of the events. Similar is the recommendation that a "National Convention Bureau" should be established for marketing, sales and promotions of various events, as well as connections with international organizations and coordination of local congressional offices.

The new urban development plan

The new urban plan for tourism development also favours the utilization of existing building resources by turning them into extensive outdoor sports facilities (e.g. facilities from the Olympics) and venues for congresses and organization of exhibitions.

It also encourages the establishment of facilities for congress and exhibition tourism of a smaller scale in smaller settlements, based on criteria such as the presence of a university or a research centre, the presence of a major manufacturing sector in the region, the presence of natural or cultural attractions, historical monuments, traditional sports or cultural events, etc.

Underwater museums

The new urban development plan also provides for the creation of underwater museums in order to develop specific forms of tourism. Underwater museums will be established in order to develop diving tourism in areas with suitable sea conditions. In parallel, an underwater diving park will be created in areas that have the necessary resources (underwater geological formations and rich ecosystems, or in places with underwater sights such as shipwrecks, underwater archaeological sites, etc.).

The urban development plan also encourages the creation of entertainment and theme parks (for adventures, with models, etc.), either separate or in combination with urban tourism. As for the development of transport infrastructure for the benefit of tourism, the urban development plan foresees the use of all provincial airports in the country with their inclusion in the network of low cost flights airports, as well as the restoration of as many as possible currently inactive airports, some of which can be converted into bases of low cost airlines.

Tags: Tourism City Break destinationAssociation of Greek Tourist Enterprises
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