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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-08-02

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Rhodes seeks to extend tourism season in answer to crisis

  • [01] Rhodes seeks to extend tourism season in answer to crisis

    AMNA/ A series of actions designed to extend the tourism season on Greece's signature holiday destination, the cosmopolitan island of Rhodes in the southeastern Aegean, has been proposed by the island's local hotel managers' association. Outlining their ideas to the AMNA on Wednesday, they said their proposals aimed to attract tourists to the island throughout the year.

    As 'specialists' in the area of tourism, of particular note is the hotel managers' suggestion for 'clusters' and cooperation not just on the level of procurements but also in marketing as a way to promote Rhodes' tourism product.

    "We need to preserve the 'sun and sea' product, constantly upgrading the quality and improving the price/quality ratio in all sectors and categories," the president of the Rhodes Hotel Managers' Association Giorgos Matsiggos said. At the same time, he added, there had to be promotion of all the alternative forms of tourism that Greece offers in each region.

    He noted that walking holidays, educational trips in collaboration with schools and universities, religious tourism (especially for the Russian market), water sports such as wind-surfing and diving, gastronomic tourism, agrotourism, sports tourism, spa tourism, honeymoons, weddings, cruises and conferences were all products that could potentially add value to Greece's tourism product.

    Especial mention was also made of the activity and operation of the island's local organisation for promoting tourism, which has served as a model for other areas of the country. Asked what made this special, Matsiggos replied: "Today we decide, tomorrow we implement, in a spirit of understanding and with flexibility of all the members that participate in the promotional body."

    Also interviewed by AMNA was the island's deputy mayor for infrastructure, IT and technical projects Manolis Savvis. Referring to the island's infrastructure, he noted that Rhodes was a 'flagship' for tourism in the country and had extremely good infrastructure, including a modern airport, an excellent port where both passenger ferries and cruise ships were able to dock and a constantly improving road network.

    Savvis pointed out that Rhodes was now the home port for cruise ships, underlining the importance of this development for Greek tourism.

    Regarding the figures for this year's tourism season on the 'island of the knights', Matsiggos underlined that the year will probably end with a 5 percent drop in tourist arrivals relative to the previous year. He emphasised, however, that the result will not be too disappointing for the local tourism industry because the previous year had been a 'bumper year' in which tourist arrivals soared 21 percent.

    He emphasised the island's history as a meeting point of three cultures, noting that Rhodes had known and been inhabited by many peoples over the centuries, each of which had left their mark in all aspects of the island's culture: in art, in the language and in architecture. Its strategic position also brought the island great wealth and made the city of Rhodes one of the outstanding cities of ancient Greece.

    The island is the largest of the Dodecanese island group. The island's capital is on its northernmost tip and includes the Medieval City of Rhodes, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 1988. The Medieval City is an ensemble of different architectural styles from different periods, in which the legacy of the Order of St John of Jerusalem that occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523 and those of the Ottoman Turks predominate. Today it is a living part of the contemporary city where trade, tourism and recreational activities still take place and also includes residential areas.

     


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