Tourism Minister Wants to Make Greece, Athens Year-Round Destinations


Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yorgos Konstantinidis)

ATHENS - Pushing to make Greece attractive year-round and not just seen as a summer spot for beaches, islands and historical spots, Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said the country needs a new model that would also bring people to Athens - which has developed a buzz - as well as other areas at off-peak times.

“This new tourism model needs new techniques, knowledge and a shift to digital technology,” the minister said while speaking to a packed audience of tourism professionals attending the 3rd International Hospitality Forum of the  Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.

“We need to embrace the changes that have already taken place and those that will be made,” Theoharis said, Greek Travel Pages (GTP) reported.

“Our country was not strong in city break tourism. Athens, however, has transformed in recent years. From a city used by tourists only for its airport, as a stopover before arriving to another (Greek) destination, it is already turning into a city that tourists will visit to experience what it has to offer,” he said. features reports on UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two days in Thessaloniki, journeys to Mani on the Peloponnese, monuments and museums and with plans to make the country an attraction for medical tourism as well and luring people to winter spots for skiing, mountain villages, and autumn hiking.

“To achieve this, we need to focus on different products, because, although each product will be focused on a specific time period, when everything is well developed, then a country can have 12 months of tourism,” he said. “Because what the tourist of the 21st century demands is certification, professional service and an authentic experience – not a prefabricated experience that can be found in any country,” the minister also said.

“If there is one lesson we can take from the problems of the past is that our country has identity, quality and authenticity in the way it handles hospitality,” he added, the site that specializes in being a tourism guide also reported.