Worldwide advertising of what’s on

Timotheos Ananiadis, the director of the historic Hotel Grande Bretagne, sends e-mails to customers in advance with details of what’s on in Athens during their stay. «We always ensure that our concierges are fully informed about what is happening in town. We always make the effort ourselves; however, no cultural organization has ever sent its program, or made a move we would welcome. Hotels are a nerve center for highlighting cultural events, particularly when they are not among the usual places people visit, such as the Acropolis or Ancient Agora. Recently, for example, we reached an agreement with the Pallas Theater to book a few tickets for performances there.» Ananiadis believes we have made great progress in city marketing but there are still not the events that will put Greece on the map. «Look what happened during the two sporting events in May, with the European finals for basketball and soccer. The word Athens was heard on every news bulletin. It is free advertising around the world. I’m not saying that visitors who came for those events will be interested in good Greek songs, but since they are here, we could give them the appropriate incentives. Often concierges will suggest that visitors go and hear Arvanitaki. But we have to convince them to come to Athens first and then we can see how they can spend their evenings. We need more impressive events, year-round.»