Leonidas Efthymiou, (left) head of the Greek National Tourism Organisation, and Ioannis Zikos, the organisation's executive secretary
Leonidas Efthymiou, head of the Greek National Tourism Organisation, and Ioannis Zikos, the organisation's executive secretary, hosted an event and presentation entitled "You in Greece" to promote tourism in Greece at Sofia's Flocafe on July 29.
Efthymoiu said that recent negative publicity about the situation in Greece was exaggerated and that travellers to the country still came away with reports of excellent service and friendly people. The hosts reminded assembled guests that, according to a recent research conducted by Kapa Focus research company, more than 55 per cent of Greeks support the austerity measures imposed by the Greek government.
"Everyone knows about the publicity and the articles of recent months in the international media. This has created the image of an unreliable Greece. In our opinion this has been overblown. And during this period we are not alone; we belong to the big family of the EU which means we have many friends and allies."
Guests were shown a video in which visitors to Athens in May 2010 gave first-hand accounts of their interesting and happy holidays.
Both hosts said that Greece had weathered hard times in the past but that their countrymen were resilient in the face of crisis. Zikos said that the current strikes affecting Greece were public-sector strikes and usually of short duration. He said that everyone in the private sector was working extremely hard to promote a positive image of the country and ensure that visitors still enjoyed wonderful holidays.
He also reported that hotels in traditional resorts such as Halkidiki were enjoying a good season and that guests were able to exploit some remarkably cheap holiday offers.
According to a poll conducted among 1200 people, 52 per cent believed that the quality of travel services offered in Greece are of a very good standard and 42 per cent believed that the travel services offered in Greece rival those offered in other developed tourist markets.
A slide-show was also shown to guests depicting images of beautiful Greek resorts and islands.