Greece aims to be among top five European destination for Indians


MUMBAI: To tap the Indian outbound travel segment, Greece is planning to position itself in the top 5 list of European destinations and promote as a holiday site that can be visited all around the year.

“India is an important market for us, therefore, we decided to foray into the country to tap the growing affluent and the outbound travel segment. We want to position Greece in the top 5 list of European destinations that every Indian would want to visit,” Greece Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura told PTI here.

She said in 2016, around 70,000 Indians visited Greece through Europe.

“Our strategy is to promote 365-day tourism in Greece and we are confident that we will see a boost in the number of Indian arrivals with our initiatives. Our target is to double the 2016’s arrivals by 2018,” she added.

The Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) is planning to create awareness about lesser known cities of Greece which have great geophysical, historical and cultural importance in India.

Kountoura said Greece is looking at reaching out to affluent Indians this year through a well planned marketing and advertising campaign.

GNTO is looking at promoting the southeastern European country as a destination for weddings, honeymoon, families, FITS (first time travellers segment), MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) and films.

“Many of the Bollywood and regional films from India have captured the scenic beauty of Greece in celluloid and we want to further strengthen this segment. As we all know one picture is worth a thousand words and we want to promote many more unseen destinations for film shoots,” she added.

The Minister said India and Greece have rich ancient history, warm culture and love for food.

Admitting that direct air connectivity between the two countries will boost tourism, she said GNTO is in talks with representatives of leading carriers such as Emirates, Qatar, Etihad and Jet Airways to improve services to Athens from India.

“We hope there will be direct air connectivity between both the countries this year. This will boost the tourism sector tremendously,” Kountoura added.