While Mykonos attracts around 2.5 million visitors a year, Delos, just 3.5km from its popular neighbor and UNESCO World Heritage site, attracts only 180,000.
Weaknesses, but also opportunities for cooperation between culture and tourism, given that Greece is not among the top 10 most popular cultural tourism destinations, were the theme of a workshop entitled “Culture and Tourism : one more step”, which took place will take place on September 19, organized by the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades and the industrial initiative Marketing Greece.
Data presented at the workshop comes from a study conducted by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (INSETE) based on a 2019 survey, although Greece’s poor performance remains the same today, according to reports of Marketing Greece.
As the president of Marketing Greece, Ioanna Dretta, pointed out during the event, there is room for improvement, because the worlds of culture and tourism have “more points on which they agree than points on which they do not agree.
The director of the Ephorate of Cyclades Antiquities, Dimitris Athanasoulis, called Greece’s absence from the top 10 cultural tourist destinations a “slap in the face”, pointing out that Mykonos attracts around 2.5 million visitors a year while Delos , a major archaeological site. located just 3.5 kilometers from its aforementioned popular neighbor and UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracted only 180,000 visitors.
The cultural tourism market is worth $950 billion and the most active “cultural tourists” in 2019 came from China, the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
Athanasoulis said “the meeting of culture and tourism” requires institutional changes as well as a “convergence of mentalities”. Angeliki Karagouni, head of content at INSETE, said the specific market is worth $950 billion and the most active “cultural tourists” in 2019 came from China, the United States, Germany, from France and the United Kingdom, who chose, in order of preference, Italy (7.2% of total visits), France, Spain, China, United States and Japan.
Cultural tourists to Greece accounted for only 2.2% of total visits in 2019.
The INSETE study showed that the country scores less favorably among tourists than the Southern European average in terms of diversity of attractions, condition of archaeological sites, shopping opportunities, cleanliness of public spaces, online apps for tourists and more, while it scores high. on ticket prices and services of museum staff.
Recommendations made in the study include, among others, extending the opening hours of archaeological sites and museums and improving museum shops.
For her part, Betty Hatzinikolaou, former president of the National Tourism Organization (EOT), highlighted the importance of cultural tours as organized cultural products and the usefulness of highlighting Byzantine monuments and ancient Greek mythology , while Aigli Balamatsi, CEO and Executive Director of Strategy at Interweave. , shared his experience of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is scheduled to open in the coming months and whose branding and marketing have been in the works for 10 years.
Massimo Osanna, general director of the Italian Museums, presented the electronic application for Italian museums which, among other things, promotes less important museums, while Angeliki Kottaridi, curator of antiquities of Imathia and director of the Polycentric Museum of Aigai , underlined the usefulness of the multi-day ticket and the importance of the museum’s autonomy.
Giorgis Manginis, Academic Director of the Benaki Museum in Athens, explained the value of the holistic experience that museums can offer.