The Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) celebrated a successful return to Arabian Travel Market (ATM) with the exclusive announcement of two high profile strategic partnerships on the second day of the region’s leading travel trade fair.
The announcements were officially presented at a press conference on the GNTO stand hosted by His Excellency, The General Secretary of the Greek National Tourism Organisation, Dimitrios Fragakis, and comes as the national tourism body steps up its efforts to promote Greek tourism across the region ahead of the summer travel period by showcasing the exceptional weather and diverse experiences on offer to visitors throughout the year under the Greek sun.
The GNTO is partnering with Qatar Airways to promote new direct routes to Greece as part of its ongoing commitment to offering seamless connectivity for passengers looking to enjoy as many one-stop connections as possible.
The popular Greek island of Santorini, with one of the most famous views in the world, will join high-demand flights to Athens and Mykonos to become the third destination to be served in Greece by Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways and the GNTO will run a dedicated media campaign to raise awareness among audiences in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with a focus on the unique, money can’t buy experiences that only Greece has to offer. The campaign will also target potential travelers from as far afield as Australia.
The first flight to Santorini is scheduled to depart from Doha’s Hamad International Airport, voted the world’s best airport in 2021, on 7th June 2022.
The new flights will further increase the already strong connectivity that Greece enjoys with the EMEA region, with existing routes including regular and seasonal flights to and from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait City and Riyadh with Emirates, FlyDubai, Etihad Airways, Aegean Airlines, Gulf Air and Flynas, while Wizz Air flies direct from Abu Dhabi to Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Chania, Crete.
Elaborating on the market opportunity, Mr Fragakis told the audience gathered at the GNTO stand at ATM: “Greece is looking forward to a dynamic comeback to ATM and the Arabian market which is set to be a priority to Greek tourism over the years. We have had the pleasure of meeting up with several leading travel brands during the fair and stressed that Greece offers many unique year-round experiences beyond the world renown sea and sun products. Greece also sports a variety of quality accommodation and an excellent city break opportunity for the Arabian audience”.
GNTO has inked an exclusive deal with one of the most influential Online Travel Agents in the Middle East as part of its comprehensive approach to further build on the destination’s enduring appeal to GCC travelers.
In line with the GNTO’s inspiring ALL YOU WANT IS GREECE campaign message, the multi-platform campaign will run from June until August and will target families, couples and travelers seeking unique travel experiences and high-quality services, by creating heightened demand and desire to travel over the key summer period by highlighting Greece as a destination with a unique identity, heritage and unparalleled natural landscape.
According to Mr Fragakis, “GNTO is excited to work with WEGO one of the most influential platforms for the Arabic audience, to promote Greece as a destination ideal for couples, solo travellers but also for family vacation. Greece mainland and islands are top of the mind choice for leisure holidays or relaxation but also home to some of the historic monuments of the world. We are very happy to be able to welcome Arab travellers looking to combine more than one destination and experiences during their trip planning on the Wego platform”.
Mamoun Hmedan, Chief Commercial Officer and Managing Director, Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and India of Wego, said: “We are excited to embark on this partnership with one of the most popular destinations for all types of travelers. We are committed to provide our users with new destinations to visit, and this partnership will enable us to bring greater choice for them.”
A regular participant over the years, the GNTO has been making an impact at Arabian Travel Market 2022 this week as it looks to further build on the visitors to Greece and eyes a robust rebound to pre-pandemic numbers. The eye-catching blue and white stand conjures aspirational images of Greece and sees GNTO joined by 10 key Greek tourism stakeholders, with key regions and luxury hotels alongside Aegean Airlines, Greece’s flag carrying airline, working together to position Greece as a year-round destination of choice offering a wide range of activities to suit all interests, from winter sports, nature and adventure activities, to gastronomy, eco-tourism, culture and heritage.
As Eleni Mitraki, Director for Tourism Promotion at GNTO, explained: “We are thrilled to be back at ATM this year. It has always been a particularly fruitful event for us, with excellent business and networking opportunities, and we place great value on ATM’s position, impact and influence among audiences in the Middle East and Asia regions. To this end, GNTO is delighted to be back and reconnecting with global tourism stakeholders again to remind people why Greece continues to be one of the top global tourism brands, as well as emphasizing the renewed ease of traveling to Greece paired with the country’s close proximity to the MENA region.”
Greece already accounts for 2.1 percent of all outbound travel traffic from the UAE, with the most popular destinations being the capital Athens, as well as the iconic island destinations of Mykonos and Santorini.
Last month, the Greek authorities announced plans to remove all COVID-19 entry requirements and allow all travellers to enter Greece restriction-free from the 1st May, 2022.
At the same time, the country also lifted the remaining of its domestic COVID-19 measures, meaning that travellers can now access cafes, bars, restaurants, and other public places and venues without being required to show evidence vaccination and/or a valid PCR test.