The Greek government has pledged to fund joint marketing campaigns with operators after “the most positive talks in years” with the new tourism minister.
Olga Kefalogianni met operators and Abta following a plea by the trade to the government earlier this year for funding after Greece sales plummeted due to political instability and negative media coverage.
In recent weeks the trade has reported a surge in bookings to Greece as consumer confidence returns. Prices have hardened, but the market remains 9% down year on year.
Cosmos, Sunvil and Olympic Holidays are set to run advertisements within weeks after the government agreed to jointly fund campaigns via its UK tourist board, the Greek National Tourist Office.
Cosmos’s £150,000 campaign, funded equally by the operator and GNTO, will run across print publications and online to promote late sales.
Hugh Morgan, managing director of parent company Monarch Travel Group, said: “I’m more confident than I have ever been. Before it was like pushing water uphill [to get funding].”
Sunvil operations director Chris Wright said: “This is the first positive news we have had out of them [the Greek government] for many years.”
Olympic Holidays commercial director Photis Lambrianides said now was the perfect time to step up its advertising.
“Three or four weeks ago the whole industry was concerned; now it’s a different situation,” he added.
Abta’s head of destinations and sustainability, Nikki White, said: “It’s great to have someone there who really grasps the issues of members.”
Kefalogianni also revealed plans to unveil a new image for Greece at World Travel Market this year as part of a trade and consumer campaign. “We plan to revamp Greece’s image, both as a brand and in terms of promotion,” she said.
Read our interview with Olga Kefalogianni here.
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