The Greek tourist board, with a number of enterprises in the country, have joined together in a bid to attract more tourists to the country.
In a venture entitled “True Greece”, the Greek tourist board is calling on volunteer holidaymakers and the generosity of tour operators and hoteliers to “set the record straight” about holidays to Greece.
The economically battered country has endured months of bad publicity regarding its tourism industry, with many holidaymakers put off visiting for fear of losing money.
Greece’s response has been to develop an interactive online portal, where visitors can share their stories and experiences of the country and try to counter the negative press.
As part of the initiative, holiday companies, airlines and hotel owners are being asked to give away freebies to holidaymakers who will be asked to write, blog and tweet about their positive experiences.
Known as the “True Supporters”, these volunteers will be briefed with the task of embarking on a social media campaign to improve the image of Greece as a holiday destination.
As well as sharing their positive Greek travel experiences, they will also be expected to respond to any inaccuracies they come across regarding the country.
The Greek tourist board hopes that the positive reviews from the holidaymakers will boost the number of visitors to the country.
“Tourism today is one of Greece’s principal economic sectors, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP, exports and jobs,” the True Greece website says.
A number of holiday companies have been approached about freebies for volunteer holidaymakers. This includes tour operator Sunvil, which has agreed to give away 20 free airline seats as part of the initiative.
“We’ve got to help regenerate Greek tourism. We’re linked with Greece and our fortunes are tied,” said Noel Josephides, managing director of Sunvil.
Whether the “True Greece” initiative works or not remains to be seen, but the country has already taken a step in the right direction with a general election. So don’t cancel those trips to this beautiful country just yet!Oonagh Shiel