New York.- Greek Tourist Organisation (EOT) director in the United States and Canada George Tambakis inaugurated a travel exhibition organized by the “New York Times” at the Jacob Javits convention centre IN New York, on Friday. Greece is the theme country at the exhibition this year and the main sponsor. Tambakis speaking to the press said that the year 2007 “will be an all-time record” for American tourists expected to visit Greece.
A total of 36 exhibitors are participating in the Greek pavilion, including EOT, Olympic Airlines and Greek American travel agencies, while the main slogan is “Greece: Explore your senses.”
Commenting on this year’s prospects regarding tourism from the United States, Tambakis said that so far reservations have increased by 35-37 percent, compared to the same period last year.
A Greek culinary event has also been held on Saturday, titled “Greece:Authentic cuisine is the soul of a culture”, addressed by Rosemary Baron, the author of the known book “Flavours of Greece” and Costas Spiliadis, owner of Greek restaurants.
On the same day a Greek cultural event by EOT was also be presented with the cooperation of the “Hellenic American Ballet Theater.” Olympic rhythmic gymnastics athlete Irini Aidinli was participating in the performance.
Lastly, on Sunday, on the last day of the travel exhibition, traditional Greek songs were presented by the artist Grigoris Maninakis and the “Mikrokosmos” orchestra.
GNTO North America Director George Tambakis praised the cooperation of Greek American tour operators in the effort to increase American tourist flaw to Greece, while at the same time he pointed out that the new direct flights to Greece from Continental Airlines and USAIR will contribute to the effort. The other two airlines with direct flights to Greece are Olympic and Delta.
Tambakis also predicted the number of American tourists to Greece to surpass 2,000,000, from 2007-2010.
“We can accomplish this goal if we continue to stay strong and alive in the tourist market. The main think was to establish the new branding of Greece, by enriching the countryʼs image with the recognition by everyone of its dynamism and accomplishments”.
In the meantime, the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP) on Thursday expressed satisfaction over the Greek tourism season for 2006, both regarding the number of arrivals and net foreign exchange revenues, while noting that an improvement in the sector primarily reflected a successful policy of attracting more visitors and containing a trend of outgoing tourism.
ITEP said foreign tourists arrivals in Greek airports rose 7.7 pct last year, compared with a 4.5-pct increase in world tourism, 3.9 pct in Europe and 4.2 pct in Mediterranean Europe. The report said the 2006 increase was an optimistic message, and called for vigilance and intensified efforts to support a long-term dynamism for Greek tourism.
The report, however, noted that foreign exchange revenues lagged behind the growth rate of tourist arrivals (5.1 pct and 7.7 pct, respectively) last year and attributed this phenomenon partly to the impact of an increasing trend for all-inclusive tourism package in Greece.