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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 March 2017
20 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 MARCH 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ‘More Greeks are visiting Australia, but fewer are staying here permanently’ John Griffi n, Australia’s ambassador to Greece, speaks to Neos Kosmos in an exclusive interview John Griffin, Australia’s ambassador to Greece. PHOTO: ANGELOS GIOTOPOULOS Greece looks to become top tourism destination in the world SETE’s chief Andreas Andreadis says Greece needs a new vision for the future to overcome the economic crisis, and that vision is tourism SETE, Greece's largest tourism business association, is setting out to make Greece one of the top ten tourist destinations in the world. The announcement was made by the association's chief Andreas Andreadis on Friday at the Delphi Economic Forum. "SETE has submitted a road map for the Greece of 2021 to all relevant authorities so that the number of visitors to our country can reach 35 million and revenues reach 19 to 20 billion euros," Mr Andreadis said. When asked if he thought the number of tourists would increase if Greece were to leave the eurozone, he rejected the idea as disastrous for local inhabitants. "If Greece returns to the drachma we will have millions of tourists, but Greeks will be [living] in a ghetto, behind a wall that will separate them from the tourist areas, in the logic of the Caribbean. It would be an absolute dis- Greece makes April cover of National Geographic Traveller The feature explores the creative renaissance Greece is currently experiencing, as the number of holidaymakers from the UK skyrockets aster," he said. "Our aim is for visitors and locals to live well together." Mr Andreadis further touched on economic matters, and said that the country is in the economic position it is in not because of bailout programs but due to a lack of vision in the form of a national plan. "Whoever thinks the memorandums are to blame for the situation we're in is deluding his or herself. The memorandums must be implemented to put things in some kind of order," the head of SETE said, adding that Greeks need to have hope for the future to form a new vision for true growth and prosperity. Mr Andreadis also said that tourism would help other sectors to recover, such as real estate, transport, energy, and agricultural production. "Greece will not be saved with the third, fourth, or tenth memorandum. It will be saved with a vision," he said. "The vision is for Greece to emerge as the best tourism destination worldwide." Greece is making headlines again, but this time it's not about its questionable economy. With the travel industry seeing a recent spike in demand for Greek holidays among UK travellers, National Geographic Traveller (UK) has featured Greece on its April cover with the title: 'A Modern Classic. Greece: a creative renaissance', Within the edition artists, musicians, chefs, and entrepreneurs are featured, giving readers an insight into how the crisis has created the opportunity for some to turn traditions on their head in a bid to pursue their dreams. "Not only are UK tour operators reporting that bookings to Greece are significantly up for 2017, but it seems the country is also in the midst of a creative bloom," said National Geographic Traveller (UK) deputy editor, Glen Mutel. "Our cover story shines a light on some of the people who have contributed to this, from graffiti artist Cacao Rocks - who appears alongside his work on our eye-catching cover - to sculptor Stathis Alexopoulos." The feature was put together by contributor John Malathronas, who said that it became very clear through his research that "Greeks are proud of their ancestry", even now in darker and more challenging times. "The resourceful way they're coping with the financial crisis demonstrates an ingenuity and creativity equal to any they've exhibited in times of calamity throughout the 30-odd centuries of their history," Mr Malathronas said. Among the UK operators seeing a surge in the number of travellers venturing to Greece are Kuoni, who reported a 30 per cent year-on-year increase in bookings, while Thomas Cook has seen a 40 per cent rise and it's not just to the popular islands, but the mainland destinations also.
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