Representing Knossos Beach Bungalows Suites Resort & Spa, left to right: Sofoklis Logiadis and Michalis Dimiotis. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
NEW YORK – The important two-day meeting for the promotion of Greek tourism and gastronomy in the U.S., held at the well-known Greek restaurant Kellari in Manhattan, on November 14-15, concluded with unprecedented success.
Entitled ‘Luxury Tourism & Gastronomy Workshop’, the Greek company Tourism Media & Events, in collaboration with The Kohas Agency, and under the auspices of the Greek Embassy in the USA, the Hellenic Ministry of Tourism, and the Union of Hellenic Chambers of Commerce, organized the highly successful event, promoting Greek destinations and Greek businesses with direct contacts and B2B meetings with American representatives of tourism, influencers, gatekeepers, and journalists in order to create the best business result.
Director of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Konstantinos Charokopos told The National Herald: “The company Tourism Media & Event organized a business mission on culinary tourism in the United States in order to bring the interested American companies in contact with the Greek companies, with hoteliers and travel agents. We all support such actions and contribute to their promotion.”
The contribution of the Office of Trade and Economic Affairs was also significant, as well as the Greek Press Office in New York, which support such initiatives. Head of the Greek Press Office Mary Vaxevanidou emphasized that their own actions always contribute communicatively to such actions, which aim to project the best possible face of Greece, regarding the production of new products, the promotion of tourism and, of course, gastronomy, through the acquaintances and relationships developed with journalists, seeking the best possible promotion of Greece.
Head of the Consulate’s Department of Economic and Commercial Affairs Nikolaos
Thomopoulos noted “that their efforts to find importers and distributors, so that the products can be introduced to the American market, were crowned with success, after the culinary meetings of the Agrofood Cooperative, of Ariston Olive Oil, of Kourellas SA and Naoumidis- Florinis Peppers, bore fruit.”
It is very important for Greece, that through these direct events of Tourism Media & Events, new relationships have been developed in European and Asian countries, which strengthen the position of our country abroad and promote, not only the conventional tourism and gastronomy, but alternative tourism as well, including medical and cultural tourism in the country, with targeted events, such as the MedTravel Expo. Through the immediacy of this communication strategy of Tourism Media & Events, it is possible for Greek tourism and export businesses to penetrate foreign markets, where there is a growing demand for Greek products and the alternative activities that the country offers. Harris Ntigrintakis, CEO of Tourism Media & Events told TNH: “Every year we do around 7-8 events with great success. We are investing in a market with very, very high costs, as a result of which each company that comes will have around 17 to 18 B2B meetings, of which around 7 to 8 deals will be closed. There are companies that can make 23 appointments. Some companies are doing better and others are not doing so well. All this is being built slowly. A company or a producer that has invested means that it has sown, so it can reap, at the right time.”
“Our events, in general, are effective and our actions multidimensional,” Ntigrintakis continued. “We bring agents from abroad and journalists, who visit our country and write about it, we are actively involved in the publishing sector, with the presence of printed magazines and special tourism publications and we have created the website tourismtoday.gr, which is the most modern media for the tourism industry and provides real-time coverage of current events, in matters of domestic and international tourism, the economy, travel and real estate.”
To promote the tourism of Rhodes, Dionissis Tsiligiris, marketing director of PROTOUR (Promotional Tourism Organization of Rhodes), was in New York, one of the representatives of the destinations, among whom were Regional Governor of the Region of Western Macedonia Georgios Kasapidis, Deputy Governor of the Regionl Unit of Halkidiki Giorgos Ioannis, Director of Tourism of the Central Macedonia Region Miltiadis Nikolaou, Rethymno Deputy Mayor of Tourism Pepi Birliraki, Athens International Airport Market Research Supervisor Maripola Kotsi, representatives of the luxury hotels, Boheme Mykonos, Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, Macedonia Palace-Thessaloniki, Knossos Beach Bungalows Suites & Spa- Heraklion, Acrotel Hotel & Villas – Halkidiki, Villa 1870- Corfu, Apeiron Blue Santorini Luxury Suites, and Desiterra Luxury Villas in Santorini.
Also present were representatives from Celestyal Cruises, DNA Travel, Greek Breakfast, Med Professionals – Medical Communication Group, Palladion Rehabilitation Centre, Salty Rides Private Powerboat Cruises – Milos Island, Vrahos Boutique Hotel, Yaloou – Yachting, Private Jetting & Hospitality, Agrofood Cooperative Region of Western Macedonia, Aggelos Doukas – Margaret Douka of Ariston Olive Oil, Kourellas, and Naoumidis – Florina Peppers.
In the Gastronomy section, Irene Litsas shared samples of Kourellas products including feta, kasseri, and vegan cheese as well as their new Kourellas Kids organic drinkable yogurt made with fruit from Greece and no added sugar. Kourellas products are available at Whole Foods.
Tsiligiris arrived with the optimism and ambition to attract tourists from the USA and he succeeded: “Due to the large increase in tourist arrivals of the island in the last three years, even in the period of COVID, Rhodes was considered the first destination in Greece for arrivals. We introduced Rhodes to the U.S. tourist market and showed that there is a bright and beautiful Greece waiting for Americans to visit.”
Among the official guests were representatives of the Greek government, Secretary General of Interior and Organization for the Hellenic Republic Michalis Stavrianoudakis, Director of the Office of the Minister of the Interior Theodosis Athanasas, and MP Makis Voridis.
The event continued on November 15 with three hours of B2B meetings and presentations by Western Macedonia Regional Governor Kasapidis, Spyros Kellidis, Miltiadis Nikolaou, Maripola Kotsi, and Pepi Birliraki, with videos offering a glimpse of the beauty that awaits visitors to Greece. A raffle drawing for 15 prizes including stays at the participating hotels in Greece concluded the event.
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