Strategy manager of Mykonos – Santorini – Aegean Islands Promo and Ambassador of the Hellenic – American Chamber of Commerce in New York, Mykonos based, Mr. Kostas Skagias,, interviewed by the publisher of the Hellenic Golden Directory New York and the news portal Hellenic Daily News New York, Mrs. Eva Plakas.
Mr. Skagias, talked about the important, for Greece and especially for the Aegean islands destinations of Mykonos and Santorini, US outbound tourism market as well as about the promotional activities that are being implemented by Mykonos-Santorini-Aegean Islands Promo project in the USA.
He pointed out that the American visitor is the ideal guest for our islands as he has a high educational and income profile and expressed his view that Greece and especially the Aegean islands could attract more US American visitors by joining efforts and coordinating actions.
The US American travel outbound market is among the top 5 most important markets in Greece, and the number one for the South Aegean Islands and especially for Mykonos and Santorini, according to official data.
However, for the time being, the US Americans visitors to Greece do not exceed 1 million, whilst at the same time, 32 million US Americans travel abroad worldwide.
“Attracting more US visitors to Greece can be achieved, under current circumstances, if we promote effectively our destinations.”, said the Strategy manager of Mykonos – Santorini – Aegean Islands Promo and Ambassador of the Hellenic – American Chamber of Commerce in New York, Mykonos based.
Mr. Skagias, also, talked about the great potential of Latin – American outbound tourism market.
“We are planning to approach high profile Latin – American visitors through targeted actions in the coming years.”, said Mr. Skagias.
Read the full interview:
E.Plakas: What is Mykonos- Santorini – Aegean Islands Promo project and what are its objectives?
Our project promotes reliable and reputable businesses, who operates in Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Andros, Crete as well as in other South Aegean Islands and who offer high quality luxury services and authentic Greek Hospitality experience in targeted high profile audiences worldwide.
Our Mykonosbest.eu, Santorinibest.eu and Parosbest.eu have become the reference point for many independent travelers, who seek information regarding the destinations and they represent the 57% of total visitors in Greece.
Innovative technologies are being used in every aspect of our promotional activities, combining print with digital, as well as face-to-face meetings with social media.
Specifically, we promote our members:
in major travel fairs in London, Berlin, New York, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Dubai, Doha, etc.
through direct business meetings with representatives of major travel agencies and enterprises in the countries we visit,
through Mykonos Experience Events,
through associated Chambers of Commerce,
through email newsletters and social media.
E.Plakas: How important the USA traveler is for the Aegean Islands?
The US American travel outbound market is among the top 5 most important markets in Greece, according to official data.
For the South Aegean Islands and especially for Mykonos and Santorini islands, US American outbound market is the number one, based on the number of arrivals, receipts and overnight stays.
US American visitors, according to the Bank of Greece, are spending almost the half of the total expenses are being made in the South Aegean islands (45,2%) while in Attica they spent about 44% of the total expenses in the region.
For our islands, especially Mykonos and Santorini, US Americans as the “ideal” visitors because of their quality aspects of their travel behavior.
E.Plakas: What are these aspects;
US American visitors have a high educational and income profile. They seek high-quality services and when they are satisfied they turn into repeaters.
For all these reasons, it is a major challenge for us to keep and attract more US American visitors in our islands as well as to create unique services to meet their needs.
E.Plakas: How many US American visitors do they come in Greece every year?
More than 807 thousand US American visitors came to Greece in 2017, while the prospects look positive for the coming years.
Since, around 32 millions US Americans traveled abroad in 2016, according to IPK International survey, there is great potential for Greece to attract more visitors.
E.Plakas: How do you think, this could be achieved?
Join efforts and coordinated actions are required in order for us to attract more US American visitors.
First of all, there is a positive climate for Greece in the USA, which could and should be cultivated more by all actors.
As far as Mykonos – Santorini – Aegean Islands Promo is concerned, we have been successfully participating in the top international tourism exhibition of New York, “The New York Times Travel Show” for the last four (4) years.
We cooperate with Greek and American tour operators, whose field is luxury tourism and we communicate our efforts through targeted promotion in selected media.
We also plan and implement promotional strategies for our islands in the USA, under the auspices of the Greek-American Chamber of Commerce of New York.
In all our actions, we promote both our premium members, who provide high quality luxury services as well as the authentic features of the destinations.
E.Plakas: Do you think that there are markets that you have not fully established?
We believe that the outbound tourism market of Latin America has a great potential for our destinations but we don’t have been fully established yet.
Latin-Americans made around 73,4 million trips in 2017, according to Euromonitor International.
Although, Latin Americans are not the “big spenders” of global tourism, their travel expenses are increasing the recent years.
Within this context, we are planning to approach high profile Latin – American visitors through targeted actions in the coming years. We have already conducted B2B meetings with major Brazil tour operators in Florianopolis and participated in the first tourism workshop “Mykonos Approach”, which was organized by Tourism Department of South Aegean Region and the Vice-Governor of Culture, Mr.Briggos in cooperation with the Federation of Commerce of Goods, Services and Tourism of Santa Catarina. The workshop and the B2B meetings was part of the fraternization of the two regions and the creation of new partnerships and alliances at tourist and cultural level.
We have a lot of job to do ahead!