OPINION

‘Living our myth’ in Greek tourism

For years now, Greeks have condemned and queried the fact that a country that has achieved such success in the tourism sector is investing less and less in its annual advertising campaign. And this is happening at a time when Greece’s chief rivals in the tourism sector are boosting their promotional budget every year. For instance, Turkey invested $120 million in its tourism campaign last year while we spent a measly $10 million on ours. Add to this the fact that all Greece’s tourism campaigns have generally hit the market in March or April (some years even in May) when any travel agent could tell you that most tourists book their summer holidays from the previous winter. Admittedly, the situation has somewhat improved this year, with $30 million budgeted for the annual campaign; also, this year’s campaign was launched at the end of 2004, with special events in many major European cities. Now we are waiting to see the outcome of this more generous and better organized campaign during this critical period after the Olympics. But disappointment persists over our lack of foresight as a nation, and regret over not having organized a better funded and organized campaign and launched it from the beginning of 2003 so that it could have worked together with the Olympic Games – not to attract more people to the Games but to ensure that Greece remained «airborne» after the Olympics. Instead, we foolishly sat and waited…