The Greek National Tourism Organisation, as a part of its 3-year strategic plan, forays into the Indian market, starting 2017, to tap the increasing Indian outbound travel segment.
Greece is a country packed with myths, traditions, history and living culture. Travellers from around the world choose it as a destination, not only for its incomparable natural beauty, but because it is a magical place, full of discoveries, charm and secrets.
Greek National Tourism Organisation’s (GNTO) target is to create increased destination awareness about lesser known cities of great geophysical, historical and cultural importance and to position Greece on list of Top 5 European destinations for Indian tourists.
Elena Kountoura, Minister of Tourism, Greece said, “With the entry of Greek Tourism in the Indian market, we aim to associate with the travel trade industry and offer our audience a customised product. Our strategy aims to promote 365-day, round-the-year tourism in Greece and we are confident that we will see a positive boost in the number of Indian arrivals to Greece with our initiatives.”
“India is a promising market for us and this year, we plan to reach out to affluent Indians through a well-planned marketing and advertising campaign. GNTO is looking at promoting Greece as an ideal destination for film tourism, destination weddings and celebrations, apart from the existing popular segments like honeymoons, MICE and FITS. Establishing a GNTO Office in India is the ultimate aim, until then we will associate with our Indian counterpart to bring out the dynamic perspectives of Greek Tourism in the market of India,” added Dimitrios Tryfonopoulos, Secretary General, GNTO.
The Tourism Minister also emphasised on India as a promising market of affluent Indian tourists and Bollywood seeking ideal film shooting locales available in Greece.
“India and Greece are both lands filled with ancient histories and heroes, where we have Hercules, Achilles, Alexander the Great, and we want to promote Greece as an ideal destination for film tourism, destination weddings and celebrations, and other products like honeymoon holidays, MICE and FITS,” the Minister said, adding that the Acropolis and Delphi sites witnessed lots of Bollywood films being shot and tourist presence increasing among Greece’s 100 islands.
“Bollywood is very important for us as one picture (film) is worth a thousand words and Bollywood films travel globally, where millions of people watch them, including those featuring Greece’s open museums that are an ideal stage for film locations,” added Kountoura.
GNTO is in talks with representatives of the largest air carriers, such as Emirates, Qatar, Etihad and Jet Airways to improve the connectivity to Athens for the Indian travellers. Greek Tourism has recorded a double digit growth in 2016 and with the entry in the Indian market, the numbers will only rise.
“While direct India-Greece flights are needed to increase incoming Indian tourists, Indian and Greek airlines have signed this agreement in September 2016 as our Greek Airlines does not make long-haul flights. While, around 25,000 India-issued tourist visas were issued during 2016, the actual visitor numbers has tripled due to many flying via Rome and Paris to Greece, which is among the Indians’ Top 3 European destinations,” she said, while also urging for Indian investments in which Greece offered a five year family residency visa.