SOCIETY

A successful year for This Is My Athens initiative

This Is My Athens, an initiative to help tourists get better acquainted with the Greek capital through tours conducted by volunteers, celebrated its first birthday on Wednesday, July 18, at the Technopolis cultural complex in Gazi, and made public the findings of a survey conducted over the course of its first year of operation.

This Is My Athens (www.thisisathens.org) was launched last summer by the municipal-run Athens Tourism 74 percent were visiting for leisure and 28 percent for business; 50 percent stayed in Athens for 4-6 days and 33 percent stayed for 2-3 days; 48 percent stayed in 3- and 4-star hotels and 100 percent visited the historic center (Acropolis, Plaka, Kerameikos, Monastiraki and Thiseio).

The majority of participants said they were satisfied in the following areas: first, the availability of information available about the destination prior to their trip, second, the quality of services provided during their visit, and then by the choices available to them for online reservations. Some complained that they found the selection of tours and activities advertised or suggested for Athens to be limited.

Asked about the advantages of Athens over other tourist destinations, historical and archaeological sites scored the highest, followed by the local community and the urban landscape of Athens. Low scores were given to the availability of cultural activities for non-Greek speakers.

In eight separate categories regarding the overall image of the city — security, value for money, behavior/friendliness of local population, choice of activities, quality of services at sites, hotels and transport, as well as the attractiveness of traditional/historic parts of the city — Athens was also given high marks by respondents, who said that their view of the city in regard to these categories changed radically after their visit.