Updated: Sep 23, 2021
The Municipality of Athens and its tourism partners are preparing for the reopening of Greek tourism in mid-May, with the aim to provide the city’s future visitors with safe and unique tourism experiences.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference earlier this week, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis referred to the efforts being made to promote the Greek capital ahead of the summer season with the support of the “Athens Tourism Partnership” initiative.
“Our aim is to limit the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on Athens’ tourism industry and create the circumstances that will lead with safety to the next day,” the mayor said.
Bakoyannis also referred to the strong connection between the everyday life of residents and the city’s tourism infrastructure.
“Everyday life is strongly connected to tourism. Therefore, tourism infrastructure must first satisfy Athens’ residents. We are not investing in tourism in order to change the city. We are making the changes that Athens needs in order to create the right conditions το attract tourism” he added.
New campaign in the works
The mayor also announced that Athens will launch a new campaign to promote the city as a safe tourism destination.
“Responding to the new reality – in the post-Covid period – we have prepared a special campaign that aims to maintain the destination’s [positive] image. We will present this campaign very soon,” he noted.
Furthermore, together with its tourism partners – AEGEAN and AIA – the municipality will design new initiatives to promote the Greek capital.
Athens’ partners support tourism
Held on the sidelines of the 7th Travel Trade Athens 2021, the press conference saw the participation of AEGEAN CEO Eftichios Vasilakis and Athens International Airport CEO Yiannis Paraschis.
Speaking to the press, Paraschis estimated that the recovery of Greek tourism would be based on three axes: The health and safety of travelers; the industry’s digital transformation, and the sustainability of the tourism product.
Asked to give a forecast on this year’s air arrivals, Paraschis noted that it would be a very positive development if AIA could reach 50 percent of the passenger volumes of 2019.
In 2019, passenger traffic at AIA had reached 25.5 million, while Athens had received a total of 6.5 million visitors. However, during April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021, AIA’s passenger traffic dropped to 5 million passengers, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
On his part, Eftichios Vasilakis expressed optimism about the summer ahead and said that AEGEAN would continue to invest in Athens’ perspective not only as a tourism destination but also as a place to live and work.
“We wish to bring more visitors to Athens, as well as people that wish to live and work in the city. The pandemic has allowed us to discover this trend and technology has made it possible. It is a positive trend that can offer a breath of life into the city and prove that together with our visitors, we can enjoy and create,” he added.