Dozens of volunteers have been fanning out across the capital this month as part of a City of Athens initiative called “Greeters,” which is aimed at welcoming tourists and providing them with additional information about the city, its sights and amenities.
Aged between 18 and 78, the 100 “Greeters” are stationed at central locations of the capital, equipped with maps of Athens and tip cards with useful information for foreign visitors and prepared to answer queries.
“At the information point in Syntagma Square the questions are usually about the changing of the guard [outside Parliament], the best streets for shopping and the location of the bus stop for Sounio,” 24-year-old postgraduate student at Panteion University and volunteer Greeter Natasa Papathanasiou told Kathimerini. “Our aim is to welcome more and more people every year,” said Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis.
The capital is expected to receive 5 million visitors this year. Overall, authorities expect another record year, with some estimates foreseeing 30 million visitors in 2017.