The ‘Brown plan’ for tidying up Greece’s tourism image

Tidying up the Greek countryside does not depend on the availability of money but on disposition and continuous effort, Tourism Development Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos told local government representatives yesterday. «Greece continues to show aspects of underdevelopment… We have succumbed to the force of habit and do not see what annoys others. Tourism, above all, is tidiness, cleanliness and a friendly and hospitable environment. And let no one retort that we have no money to keep Greece clean,» he told an event in Athens on the upgrading of the tourism industry. Avramopoulos cited an e-mail by a certain Mr Brown, whose name will be given to a campaign currently being prepared by the Greek National Tourism Organization. «Dear Minister, I have just spent six wonderful weeks traveling in your charming country. What a great shame it is for Greece to be destroyed by rubbish and waste. Wherever we went we saw old cars, trucks and tractors abandoned by the roadside, together with discarded water bottles, food wrappers and cigarette butts. A country that has had a sewage system for 6,000 years and can build such a bridge in Antirio is surely in a position to collect its waste.» Avramopoulos also said tourism operators and local government had to control prices, upgrade services and abandon the opportunistic approach to the supply of their services. He said close cooperation among all parties involved was needed to deal with the adverse effects of unforeseeable events on tourism, such as Sunday’s earthquake.

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