Taking ‘Grow Greek Tourism’ to the next level

Tourism has always been a sector of major importance for Greece. In 2014, it is estimated to have contributed 17 billion euros to the Greek economy, accounting for more than 20.5% of GDP and 20% of employment. The opportunity for further development thanks to the web is significant as it is estimated that an increase in the online activities of the Greek tourism industry throughout the year could grow Greek GDP by 3% and create 100,000 new jobs.

Thousands of small and medium sized businesses in Greece already use the internet to connect with customers from all over the world. For instance, there’s Aleka’s House, a stone guest house in Pelion, that now attracts tourists throughout the year with the help of the web: “We have identified the countries where we see most searches for off-season holidays and created online campaigns. By doing this, we managed to attract tourists from abroad and increase bookings”, said Lena, Aleka’s House owner.

To make these opportunities available to a wider number of SMBs, we launched a pilot project in September, in collaboration with the Minister of Tourism, the National Tourism Board and the Federation of Tourism Enterprises, aimed at teaching digital skills to local businesses active in tourism.

More than 600 companies participated in the first two trainings, but we want to do more and hear more success stories from Greek travel businesses. So we are very excited to announce today that we'll bring Grow Greek Tourism to 5 additional regions in Greece, reaching thousands of SMBs.

Thanks to the trainings we’ll set up, businesses will be empowered to use the internet to bring more tourists to their hotels, restaurants and sites. They will learn how to use search trends to identify new markets for incoming tourists, online marketing techniques to drive interest in their businesses and be inspired by national and international examples. They will also receive support to use key digital tools for increasing their visibility as well as promoting their products.
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Events will take place in Kalamata and Mykonos οn March 23rd and 27th and in Corfu, Thessaloniki, Rhodes and Athens on April 16th, 21th, 24th and 29th respectively. All local businesses - directly or indirectly related to tourism - are invited to subscribe to the free events, through the initiative’s website at g.co/GrowGreekTourism.

Posted by Dionisis Kolokotsas, Public Policy & Government Relations Manager, Athens