Greece prepares to profit from Games

Greece has launched a two-year marketing plan capitalising on the awareness generated by the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, to drive C&I business to the country. The campaign will have three tiers – establishing four regional convention bureaus; setting up convention bureaus at the existing London and Athens Greek National Tourism Offices (GNTO); and the launch of a dedicated website. The four regional CVBs will open in Rhodes, Crete, Patras and Corfu by the end of 2003. They will complement the existing bureau in Thessalonika, set up three years ago. Athens-based GNTO director of studies and investments Elisabeth Hatzinikolaou said: “The Greek government will assign E1m (£625,000) towards the educational and promotional aspects of setting up the bureaus, but they will then run as public-private initiatives with funding from businesses such as DMCs and hotels.” The London GNTO and Athens convention bureaus should be fully operational by 2004. The London office is recruiting a third member of staff to work on C&I business later this year. “We’ve had around 22 serious requests for information in the past six months alone, which is an extremely encouraging sign,” said GNTO director for the UK and Ireland, Panos Argyros. The website is due to go live by the spring and will complement the existing GNTO site.

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