The tourist destinations that will stand out in the future, are those that will support their vision for growth with strong marketing actions, while implementing new technologies. The protection of the environment is considered a self-evident priority, since it is a matter of survival. This was the main message of the 7th SETE “Tourism & Development” Conference that took place in Athens, with around 400 participants from the world of business, the media and the political leadership of the Ministry of Tourism Development.
Among the many messages of the Conference, the following are worth special mention: flexibility and multiple options are the strongest trend in consumer behaviour, whereas value for money, environmental sensitivity and differentiation-specialisation characterise their choices, according to Mr. G. Ihlau, International Relations Director of TUI. More specifically in relation to Greece, Mr. Ihlau mentioned that our country holds first place in consumer preference, with 67% according to the European Travel Attitudes survey, and is the second largest destination for TUI. Mr. Ihlau recommended that our tourism policy must set high in order of priority the issues of the quality improvement of airports, the offer of medical services, as well as the training of personnel.
The Deputy-Chairman of Visit Britain, Lady Cobham, who presented an analysis of her Organisation, mentioned as a necessary requirement for success the development of synergies between the public and private sector, considering the alliance between businesses a given. The innovation of Visit Britain lies mainly in its digital prevalence, the intensity, consistency and continuity of the marketing actions, as well as the monitoring and analysis of the markets.
The Regional Director of Maison de la France (MDLF), Mr. M. Peyre, outlined the structure, operation and strategy of his Organisation, its exclusive object being the promotion of France as a tourist destination abroad. A feature of how French tourism is organised is that demand and offer are managed by different organisations, with MDLF for demand and ODIT for supply. It is worth noting that Ministries that share competence for tourism also participate in ODIT as members.
The Conference concluded with a speech by the Minister of Tourism Development, Mr. A. Spiliotopoulos.