Greece: Online Reputation Management & Destination Marketing

For an online reputation management program to be successful at a destination level, it is clear that Tourism Boards and DMOs need to follow an organized and methodical approach. Setting clear objectives, communicating it to all stakeholders and coordinating their activity while having integrated the program with existing marketing and operational activities are the basic steps to success.

This post focuses on Greece as a tourism destination and on the most recent initiatives taken at a national, regional and local/city level towards the targeted promotion of tourism on key strategic themes and using online reputation management practices.

Meanwhile,  abouTourism is glad to have contributed to the development of three of these projects.

Online Reputation Management & Brand Monitoring Mechanism for Greece

The Greek National Tourism Organisation (G.N.T.O) has recently introduced “True Greecean Internet-based initiative which aims to further promote the positive publicity of Greece as a tourist destination online, especially utilizing social media.

True Greece is a dynamic web based platform which is fully integrated in the existing marketing plan of the organization. This tool is utilized to directly clarify through facts, any existing “inaccuracies or speculations” that concern the wider operational and service environment in the country as well as the safety and security levels at Greek tourism destinations.

The mechanism has been designed to allow the organization to track, register and manage accordingly all comments, reviews and observations that refer to Greece as a tourism destination on an ongoing basis. The Internet and social media applications are already being used very successfully by the G.N.T.O to post news and to communicate the tourism “brand added value” of Greece. “True Greece” aims to further promote the positive publicity of Greece as a tourist destination online, utilizing effectively social media platform network externalities.

The initiatives’ key priorities are a) the promotion and communication of key elements and competitive advantages of the Greek tourism product and b) the promotion and dissemination (through social media) of positive messages/opinions that visitors have about their experiences (via video spots, web testimonials, reviews, posts, tweets). Based on these priorities a content strategy was developed mapping the target media and providing the basis for customized content and activities to be constantly disseminated to  third party channels.

In line with the real time and social nature of the project, the following phase of the initiative calls for support from volunteers who tweet and share the truth about Greece by responding to inaccuracies or speculations they may come across online. «True Supporters», is a team of volunteers responsible for monitoring and responding to online comments and mentions regarding Greece as a tourist destination. The «True Supporters» idea is based on the concept that the most effective response to negative mentions and inaccuracies is provided by real people that feel passionate about the destination.

The third phase of the project saw the development of a Facebook campaign which invites users of the Visit Greece Facebook page to create their own “True Greece” photo album, by selecting their favorites from the existing picture gallery of Greek destinations and win their True Vacations in Greece. The prizes comprise of vacation packages with return air tickets and 4-day accommodation for 2 for 150 lucky winners and the deadline has already been extended to the 27th of August due to high levels of participation.

As far as cooperation and coordination goes, the initiative is already being supported by a series of government agencies including the Greek Radio Television S.A., the Athens News Agency and the Hellenic Foreign Ministry. The agencies will be assisting the effort by tracking and gathering news and other related material as well as working with local, national and international media outlets.

abouTourism is glad to have been assigned to develop the concept as well the content planning & creation strategy for this initiative in partnership with Mindworks digital marketing agency (Business Unit of ATCOM).

More info onwww.truegreece.org

New Promotional Video for Athens Business Tourism

The Athens Convention Bureau has just released its first ever promotional video for the business tourism product of the City of Athens as part of its action plan and strategic direction towards the further development and promotion of business tourism.

Through the eyes of a business traveller visiting Athens for 3 days, viewers can get a glimpse of all the city has to offer in terms of conference, accommodation, and public transport facilities, as well as cultural, gastronomic, and other leisure activities.

Through the video we are invited to follow the delegate during the conference participation, site inspection, and sightseeing in the historic and cultural center of the city, the gastronomical journey and the Athens coastline. The video features over 20 locations and facilities in the Athens center and the greater surrounding area.

The video spot showcases the business tourism product of Athens under five key strategic themes; the Olympics heritage and specialization in congress and events organization, the business product at the city center and the surrounding areas, cultural heritage, conference facilities and additional activities at the coastal zone of the city as well as regenerated industrial multi-purpose venues.

Event planners are informed of the wide selection of modern infrastructure, and can choose from 40 conference and exhibition venues, more than 379 meeting rooms as well as satisfy any accommodation requirement from 695 hotels around Athens. Furthermore, they are invited to take a tour around unique sites and museums of world cultural heritage, sample refined and modern Mediterranean cuisine and explore activities for every taste and of the highest standards.

More informationwww.athensconventionbureau.gr

This is MY Athens Program Celebrates 1 Year

This is MY Athens, the visitor greeters program for the City of Athens celebrated 1 year of successful operation in July.

This is My Athens is free program available to visitors to Athens and staffed by volunteer Athenians who are excited to show visitors “their city” and all it has to offer.

Launched during a challenging period at a national and local level, during which tourism- an industry the destination is relying heavily upon- was also affected, the This is MY Athens program, a concept and developed by abouTourism, was greeted with unprecedented enthusiasm from Athenians and has received strong interest from the city’s prospective visitors during this time.

During this year we have organized numerous exciting events to keep the Athens Locals’ engagement and excitement high about the cause of the program. One of the activities was a special flash mob-like- event which was organized at a central city square. The event came alive with the participation of Athens Locals as well as the delegates of the EuroXpro 2012 Conference,  organized by AIESEC in Athens, who first experienced a walk with  Athens Locals.

A few days ago celebrating the program’s ‘birthday’, all Athens Locals were also invited to celebrate along with visitors, joining us all to a special birthday event which included a lot of music and special happenings!

We are glad to see that Athens Locals are as excited as ever to show even more parts of their favorite city to the world. At the same time the dedicated surveys show that Athens visitors are appreciating more than anything the opportunity to discover parts and secrets of the city that they would not have been able to discover without the help of a local.

More info: thisisathens.org

‘Incredible Crete’ Promotional Video for Reputation Management

The Region of Crete has just released a series of promotional videos showcasing that life in Crete is as beautiful as ever.

The videos attempt to directly tackle some key perceptions which have been formed and reproduced by mass media, inviting visitors to visit and “See for yourself, feel for yourself”.

The videos featuring the island have been uploaded on YouTube and Vimeo, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. They are also currently being aired on the Travel Channel, the leading international travel broadcaster, with which the GNTO (Greek National Tourism Organization) is already collaborating.

Official sitewww.incrediblecrete.gr

Relevant Posts:

New Reputation Management and Targeted Marketing Campaigns

New Inclusive, Targeted & Reputation Management Marketing Campaigns

New Marketing Campaigns- Listen, Engage & Inspire!

Online/Offline Marketing Integration Case Study: This is Athens

Training Seminars in Athens: Being Green- Going Digital!

This month we have two very hot training seminar series coming up in Athens, which could be of interest to all our regional tourism friends! 

AbouTourism in collaboration with E-Tourism Frontiers is happy to announce the first of a series of Practical, Affordable & World Class online tourism seminars organized in Greece.

Don’t miss this full day and a half event in Athens on 27-28th September 2011, at the Technopolis City of Athens (room “Kostis Palamas”, 100 Pireos str, Gazi), brought to you by ATEDCo.

A practical seminar on using technology to better manage and market your business or destination, from international experts including speakers from Expedia and Tripadvisor.

These sessions are practical, easy to understand and ideal for anyone who is interested in using the internet and social media in their business.

You will benefit from solid, interactive and easy to grasp training in the fundamentals of online tourism, provided by expert trainers and featuring walk throughs of appropriate, locally available solutions. At the end everyone will receive a copy of the brand new book E-Tourism Frontiers Guide to eTourism and every delegate will be certified as having completed this course in Online Tourism Management and Marketing.

Topics covered will include:

  • How the Travel business has shifted online and why it is vital that destinations and businesses change the way they work
  • How to develop an e-marketing and management strategy
  • What are the key resources to have in place and how to set them up
  • How to upgrade your website and manage it more effectively
  • Online Advertising and Search Engine Optimization
  • How to start taking online bookings and payments and to combine this with offline business in a safe and secure way
  • The Social Media Toolbox- how to use Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and YouTube in your business
  • How to encourage and help your customers to market you via social media and capitalize on User Generated Content
  • How to produce, store, manage and publish photos, video and other media for your business
  • The importance of mobile phones and devices for tourism businesses and how you can use them to make yourself more accessible online

The full programme can be found here. You can check out more information and register here.

If you are in any way involved in Tourism in Greece then you can’t afford to miss these seminars.

Whether you are a destination or a tourism business, large or small- this event will offer you real solutions to begin improving the way you market, manage and sell your products online.

This course uses E-tourism Frontiers’ proven and highly acclaimed intensive training format that has trained over 2,000 people around the world.

Registration is just €175 per delegate which includes:

  • A full and a half day of seminars
  • Training materials
  • Copy of the new E-Tourism Frontiers Guide to eTourism book
  • Certification
  • Lunch, coffee and refreshment breaks

Special discounted rates are offered for members of recognized regional tourism associations and for group registrations of 2 or more people.

Who Should Attend?

  • Tourism Professionals
  • Marketing Staff and Strategists
  • Hoteliers
  • Guest Houses and Bed and Breakfasts
  • Tour Operators
  • Travel Agents
  • Airlines
  • Destination Managers
  • Public Sector Tourism officials
  • Tourism Associations and Authorities
  • ICT Professionals
  • Bloggers and Content generators

See you there!

For further information or any registration support please contact us.

More events from this E-Tourism series are to follow in Greece and the Eastern Med region.

If you are interested in hosting a similar event at your destination then contact us now

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Another training seminar series is sponsored by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd’s (RCL) Ocean Fund, the Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles (MEDASSET) and Sustainable Travel International (STI) who are promoting sustainable tourism and  destination stewardship among stakeholders in the Mediterranean. The conference includes two training  seminars which are designed for different audiences.

Athens: 

-September 9.    By invitation only. Multi‐stakeholder Workshop on Sustainable Management of Tourist Destinations: Biodiversity and Local Communities

September 15-16. Tourism Industry Training Seminar on the Shore Excursions Standard and best practices
in sustainable tourism for tour operators that serve the cruise lines.

September 17-18. Auditor and Consultant Training Course on the Shore Excursions Standard.

Chania:

‐  September 19.    By invitation only. Multi‐stakeholder Workshop on Sustainable Management of Tourist Destinations: Biodiversity & Local Communities

– September 20-21. Tourism Industry Training Seminar on the Shore Excursions Standard and best practices in sustainable tourism for tour operators that serve the cruise lines.

Promoting Destination Stewardship and Sustainable Tourism Standards in Greece

CONFERENCE AND TRAINING SESSIONS

Tourism is one of the fastest developing industries worldwide, and can have both positive and negative impacts on the natural environment and local communities in which it takes place. These impacts are  complex and can significantly affect a destination’s urban landscape and its natural and cultural heritage.  Short-term plans for tourism development often override long-term environmental and social issues. Destination stewardship is a multi-stakeholder approach to maintaining the cultural, environmental, economic, and aesthetic integrity of a country, region, state, or town through sustainable policy and  management frameworks. It can lead to sustainable destinations that are beneficial to local communities  and profitable for local businesses while leaving eco-systems intact, ensuring the destination remains an  attractive place to live, work and visit for generations.

BEST PRACTICES IN THE CONTEXT OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

It is crucial to ensure that tourism will be developed taking into account environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts. Sustainable tourism can lead to an increase in environmentally friendly jobs and income for local communities and is also a powerful incentive to preserve the natural environment and  biodiversity. It can also contribute to broader environmental awareness regarding the social benefits of biodiversity and the need to preserve and respect for traditional practices and knowledge.

Best practices in sustainable tourism are methods or techniques that consistently show results superior to those achieved  with other means, and that are used as a benchmark.Issues relating to all aspects of sustainability are central to the challenge of tourism development.

These aspects are critical, for example, to improve the ecological coherence of the pan European network of  protected areas (Natura 2000 network), to preserve the functions of coastal and marine ecosystems and to the prosperity and quality of life of local communities.

For more information about these seminars, please contact the project team: L. Boura & K. Grimanis (medasset@medasset.gr) and Brian T. Mullis (brianm@sustainabletravel.com).