The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Starts Preparations for 2021

Updated: 10 July 2021

Covid-19 restrained all kinds of business branches. Yet, tourism is undoubtedly the most harmed sector. With massive lockdowns, quarantines, and mobility restrictions, summer 2020 went by quietly. Greece, which receives massive income during summer seasons of tourism, wants to remedy the wounds of 2020. To do so, the GNTO started its preparations for 2021 early.

Covid-19 has not only hindered activities but also changed them. Tourism used to revolve mostly around natural beauty. Pristine beaches, holiday resorts, and vibrant art scenes ruled tourism. Now, due to Covid-19, the first thing people take into consideration is their safety. Promotion plans of the GNTO toward the future involve advertising safety and healthcare. Angela Gerekou, the president of the GNTO, recently said, “Our interventions in Greece’s promotion will be very specific, very targeted, aiming to show the country’s safety but also that a ‘new day’ has risen for Greek tourism.”

Gerekou remarked that the promotion campaign has already started. Through social media and other advertising channels, the GNTO already sets the scene for 2021. President Gerekou also added, “We stand strong in the market and are aiming for the recovery which we hope will begin in 2021.”

Greek Tourism to Adopt a New Model

Covid-19’s mandatory agenda forced many countries to reconsider their priorities. Greece, too, aims to make things differently after Covid-19. Angela Gerekou argues that “I must say that this huge crisis also gives us a very important opportunity: to be able to promote our country – of course as a safe destination – but mainly in the direction we want to follow in ‘the day after’ Covid-19.”

According to the GNTO, the new model of tourism in Greece connects different sectors. In this new format, tourism will not be an isolated branch. To rebound quickly after Covid-19, Gerekou suggests that, “not everything needs to change of course, but the time has come for us to look at Greece in a different light… It is essential to connect tourism with Greece’s other productive sectors in order to create new models and new products.”

The New Model Revolves around Wellbeing

Angela Gerekou of the GNTO argues that contemporary tourism seeks three forms of wellbeing. These are namely physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Gerekou claims that Greece offers all three. However, the country needs to advertise these qualities more assertively. She says that Greek tourism must showcase all its values. She concludes by saying that “It is unfair that we have not highlighted the ‘hidden Greece’… All destinations have unique cultural identities, many of which remain unknown abroad; one of a kind Greek products; and everything in relation to wellbeing and wellness in terms of tourism… Now is the time to promote our hidden treasures.

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