OPINION

Upgrading tourism

Perhaps it takes -40 million to advertise Greece’s tourism abroad. And there can be no accurate estimation of a campaign’s effectiveness. Pioneering English businessman and founder of Lever Brothers (now Unilever), William Hesketh Lever, once famously stated that half of the money he spent on advertising was wasted. The problem, he said, was he had no way of knowing which half. In order to advertise Greece as a destination for tourism, one fears that more than half of the money will be wasted because the country still trails others in terms of infrastructure. It is not just that Turkey and Croatia already have more sailboats, speedboats, and other leisure boats than Greece. It’s everything else that makes a good tourism product – clean streets, marinas, visitor services at archaeological sites. Greece is sorely lacking in all these respects. Tourism needs a strong advertising campaign. But we should always keep in mind that nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising. Upgrading our products must be a top priority for all of our governments.