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

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.


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:

‘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.


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

ARGO II Black Sea Tourism Forum & Workshop

The UNDP Black Sea Trade and Investment Programme (BSTIP) is pleased to present the ARGO II Black Sea Tourism Forum & Workshop to take place in Nafplio, Peloponnese, Greece, on 3 and 4 May 2012, at the “Vouleftiko”. The two-day event is brought to you with the support of the Region of Peloponnese, the Municipality of Nafplio and the Argolida Chamber, with the cooperation of AbouTourism International Destination Consultancy.

Aiming to enhance tourism business partnership in the Black Sea Region, the ARGO II Black Sea Tourism Forum & Workshop will host selected Tour Operators and National Airlines representatives from more than 12 countries of the Black Sea Region introducing them to the unique Region of Peloponnese and its selective range of tourism suppliers. The Forum includes a workshop with a series of pre organized B2B meetings between the Black Sea representatives and the suppliers from the Region of Peloponnese, as well as a Conference day with sessions on digital tourism and destination management offered by leading experts.

Mr Barry Kolodkin, BSTIP Programme Manager commented on the importance of the ARGO II Forum: Travelers are becoming increasingly sophisticated; seeking destinations that will appeal specifically to their wants and emotions. The Peloponnese in Greece, like Tuscany in Italy or Provence in France, is such a destination. This forum will enable the Peloponnese to display its prodigious offerings to tour operators from the Black Sea region, a region with growing disposable income, where travelers seek new and exciting destinations.

-Click here to download the Programme to the event for Greek companies (EN)

-Click here to download the programme to the event for Greek companies (GR)

-Click here to download the programme to the event for Foreign companies (EN)

-Click here to download the Application Form for Greek companies (EN)

-Click here to download the Application Form for NON-Greek companies (EN)

-Click here to download the Application Form for Buyers (EN)

BSTIP is a unique initiative jointly co-financed by the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Turkey, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the BSEC (Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization). The main objective of the programme is to promote the regional economic integration process among the BSEC Member States.

AbouTourism International Destination Consultancy ( is an international destination development & marketing consultancy with a regional focus on South Eastern Europe & Eastern Mediterranean Regions.

For further information, please contact:

Mrs Daniela Drone


Tel: +30-210-7701661



Mrs Daisy Modiano


Tel: (+30) 210 8941610





eTourism Seminars- Practical Tools for Tourism Professionals

abouTourism in cooperation with E-Tourism Frontiers, are glad to present the new series of eTourism seminars to take place in two significant tourism destinations in Greece.  Our next stations are:

Thessaloniki on the 26th & 27th of April 2012

In cooperation with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the support of Halkidiki Hotel Association and the Helexpo Exhibition Centre

Rhodes on the 8th & 9th of May 2012

With the support of the Chamber of Dodecanese

Considering the fast technological developments affecting the travel and tourism industry and through our close cooperation with the industry, these seminars are organized in order to fill the gap, so that  tourism businesses and organizations can practically select and implement new technologies and media in their business, effectively applying new knowledge and skills.

The  eTourism training seminars are especially organized for tourism organizations, companies and professionals in order to help them build and develop their online tourism knowledge and capacity. The seminars offer solid, interactive and easy to grasp training in the fundamentals of  etourism, provided by expert trainers and presenting appropriate, locally available solutions.

Through a two full day program, featuring some of the world’s leading online tourism experts, including representatives from TripAdvisor, Expedia & Google Travel, participants take advantage of very practical training and interactive presentations on online tourism sales, marketing and management including sessions on digital marketing, travel distribution and sales, social networking and media.

Also, for the first time, the program will include a web clinic option, where the participants will have the opportunity to get their website reviewed and tested to see whether their business website is working effectively and how to improve it. A detailed analytical report on the website complete with recommendations for improvement and change will also be supplied.

In combination with the presentation of selected locally available solutions, the local tourism industry acquires easy to use and ready to implement knowledge to their business in order to effectively compete in the marketplace.

Are you Interested? Check out more information, analytical program and registration details here!

Top 20 Vintage Tourism Ads (Part 1): The best of the first

This first part of abouTourism’s series of vintage tourism ads is a collection of the best posters from the first part of the previous century, the “Golden Age of Travel”, as a remembrance of how it all begun.

Looking at these vintage posters from destinations all over the world we wonder how much things have actually changed over these past 100 years. Even today, during the online revolution and with the availability of affordable and wide spreading media, you will still find tourism campaigns that rely  just on an inspiring photo and logo to attract international tourists.

We cannot help but admire the simple yet powerful designs and colors, while realising that some concepts are not as new as we thought. Most ads were created by design legends and commissioned by the powerful transportation industries or the first national tourism agencies promoting a world of enticing destinations and new modes of transportation. Historical information, wherever available, complete the collection. Enjoy!

#20. Bretagne, Hugo d’Alesi (1903)

Simply because it is probably one of the very first.

#19. Norway – The Land of the Midnight Sun, Ben Blessum (1925)

#18. Athens: the Parthenon, Nelly’s (1929)

The first-dated Greek Tourist poster featuring the Parthenon as photographed by famous photographer Nelly’s, following the foundation of the Greek Tourist Organization during the second period of the political leadership of Eleftherios Venizelos (1928-32).

#17. Montana, USA (1937)

This poster showing an Indian encampment next to a lake, was made for the Unites States Travel Bureau, funded by the WPA, which was created during the Great Depression by FDR’s New Deal. In an attempt to lower unemployment, the WPA hired millions of people from all walks of life, including artists. This poster is from the “See America” series, created under a Federal Art Program and made between 1936-1938 to promote tourism in Montana.

#16. Cote d’Azur, Toute l’Anee, Jean-Gabriel Domergue

Fireworks of bright green and yellow palm fronds burst above elegant vacationers in Jean-Gabriel Domergue’s “Cote d’Azure”. A French Art Deco painter, Domergue (1889 – 1962) began as a landscape painter and student of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec before achieving fame painting coquettish women as the self-proclaimed inventor of the pin-up.

#15. Cote d’ Azur, Le soleil toute l’anee, Roger Broders

In his job promoting the Paris-Lyons-Mediterranean Railway, graphic artist Roger Broders (1883 – 1953), was pivotal to poster art’s initial wave in popularity. Defining vintage travel poster art of the 1920’s and early 1930’s, his distinctive, exuberant Art Deco style goes along with his ability to evoke the romance and nostalgia of travel. A taste for luxury travel, exotic locations and leisure activities was a feature of the hedonistic post-war years of the 1920s. Sports and outdoor activities were all the rage, and people were travelling more for pleasure than ever before.

#14. Australia, The Tallest Trees in the British Empire, Percy Trompf (~1935)

One of Australia’s most prolific and most celebrated poster designers, Trompf is attributed as designer of “thousands of advertising posters” (Australian Travel Posters p. 29). Known for his “bright, colorful and optimistic images,” Trompf also utilized “natural images . . . to beguile both domestic and international tourists to various regions of Australia” (Ibid p. 29-30).

#13. In a German Forest (Deer), Jupp Wiertz (1935)

#12. Get in the queue for Queenstown, New Zealand (~1930)

“Get in the queue for Queenstown” urges this vintage New Zealand travel poster with its catchy slogan. It shows trampers looking out over Lake Wakatipu toward the Remarkables clambering through a styilised capital letter “Q” with the then small town of Queenstown below them. This was orginally a large screenprinted poster probably issued by either the NZ railways publicity branch or the quaintly named “Department of Tourist and Health Resorts” in the early part of the 20th century.

#11. All Roads Lead to Switzerland, Herbert Matter (1934)

Matter’s eight revolutionary travel posters for the Swiss Tourist office were the first to use photography as collage – purely as a design element such as type. Matter in the years after 1932 produced what are widely regarded as some of the most celebrated posters in the history of design. Commissioned by the Swiss National Tourist Office, his groundbreaking works such as ‘All Roads Lead to Switzerland’  and ‘Pontresina’ further developed his new found awareness of the formal elements of photography. No longer manufactured as discrete isolated images, he now composed the photograph in such a way that it came to function as a single element in the totality of a graphic design.

Stay tuned for Vintage Tourism Ads part 2

abouTourism destination consultancy announces its official company launch.

abouTourism is an international destination development & marketing consultancy with a regional focus on SE Europe & Eastern Mediterranean Regions.

Through official partnerships with a specialist international tourism consultancy, TEAM Tourism Consulting, as well as with TCI Research (Tourism Competitive Intelligence) specializing in survey-based research and evaluation in the public and private tourism sectors, we offer an elite team of destination experts and tourism professionals who combine extensive experience as practitioners, managing operations, with many years of consultancy experience working for DMOs and related organisations around the world.

“abouTourism destination consultancy, with its consortium of consultants and partner companies, has the depth of talent, practical experience, technical and management expertise to suit client’s requirements. We aim to provide quality services and implementation support in every stage of the destination’s development, management & marketing process said abouTourism’s Managing Director & Founder Manolis Psarros during the launch of the company.

Client organizations can pick and choose from a wide variety of individual services or tailormade packages. Flexibility is the key. We provide everything from tourism master plans to DMO operations support and seminars & workshops for tourism professionals. Think of us as an one-stop-shop for tourism boards, destination management organizations and tourism professionals associations.

More about abouTourism Destination Consultancy

abouTourism destination consultancy is an innovative and comprehensive professional services company that focuses exclusively in destination development, management & marketing. By combining proven methodologies, deep experience and implementation support, abouTourism can help Destination Management/Marketing Organizations deliver quality projects and results. Headquartered in Athens, Greece we have associates at UK, SE Europe & East Med. For more information please visit our website at or contact us at


Destination BrandWatch: New Marketing Initiatives from New Zealand, Las Vegas, Greece, Ecuador, Seychelles and more..

New York Yankees Star to Promote New Zealand

New York Yankee Curtis Granderson is heading to New Zealand in January with the help of Tourism New Zealand.  One of America’s top baseball players, Granderson will be in New Zealand in his role as a global baseball ambassador to youth, and to help promote tourism to New Zealand in the United States. Held up as Major League Baseball’s ‘nice guy’, Granderson will experience tourism activities across the country, sharing them with his social media networks across the USA. Tourism New Zealand General Manager Brand and International Public Relations Catherine Bates says that as well as being a great baseball player, as a respected humanitarian, philanthropist and educator, Granderson would be a great advocate for New Zealand in the important American market. Source:

Going global: Las Vegas revamps international tourism strategy

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is going global with a new proposal to attract more international visitors to the city. Only about 14 percent of total visitors are from out of the country. But according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, international travelers make a big impact.

“They tend to spend more and stay longer,” says Cathy Tull, Senior Vice President of Marketing. “They spend more on rooms, shopping, eating out, and drinking. All those types of things,” adds Jeremy Aguero, economic analyst and founder of Applied Analysis.

Tourism leaders want the city to evolve into more than just a vacation destination for people abroad. Their focus going forward is to increase foreign business travel by attracting more international trade shows. They’ve already booked some for 2011 and 2012. Tull believes it’s a step in the right direction to get us on the world stage. So far, the only direct international flights to Las Vegas are from Great Britain, Canada, and Mexico. The LVCVA also announced plans to spend more money on advertising. It wants to better utilize social media sites to attract visitors.The agency reportedly plans to add $5 million to its current $71 million marketing budget based on hotel room tax revenue that has been higher than anticipated for several straight months. Source

Greek Plan to Boost Year Round Tourism with Nation-Wide Events Will Benefit Travelers

The Greek government has announced its intention to draw more tourists with a series of nation-wide events and an Internet campaign. Holiday specialists Travelmatch expects this to make Greece an even more appealing destination for travellers.

Excellent tourist programmes are the cornerstone of a good holiday, and they do not come about unless the local government is behind them. Clearly Greece is committed to investing significantly in this respect.
Greek officials have announced that they intend to launch a sustained effort to draw tourists to their country. The strategy is focused on a series of nation-wide events which will encourage year round tourism. Travelmatch, the online travel specialists, expect this to yield significant benefits for tourists travelling to Greece. Alex Francis of says: “Excellent tourist programmes are the cornerstone of a good holiday, and they do not come about unless the local government is behind them. Clearly Greece is committed to investing significantly in this respect.”

Greece’s tourism strategy is expected to incorporate the Internet and social media to draw more people to the country on holidays. It will also focus on underdeveloped markets such as China and Russia. According to Francis, this is a significant development as it will make information about holidays in Greece more accessible to potential tourists from all over the world, including the UK. He says: “Strong media campaigns will help spread the word about this excellent country; Greece has some of the most appealing sites in the world and we fully expect this initiative to yield strong results.”

Francis argues that this development is excellent news for both the Greek economy and travellers. He concludes: “A strong focus on bringing tourists to Greece is likely to be very successful and will bring a large influx of foreign spending into this market. Given the economic situation in Greece, this will be very welcome. It is likely that tourists will be the ones who benefit the most though. Their plan of creating nation-wide events is also very exciting as they are sure to be excellent. When these new events are combined with Greece’s many pre-existing tourist draws, it will become an even better destination for tourists.” Source

Seychelles Tourism Board launches marketing initiative in South America with South Africa

In conjunction with Argentina´s leading boutique outbound specialist in South Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands destination wholesaler – Sundance Tours – the provincial tourism marketing entities of Cape Town Routes Unlimited (Cape Town and the Western Cape), Mpumalanga Tourism & Parks Agency, and the National Office of Tourism Seychelles have formed a joint destination marketing venture, pooling their marketing resources in what is a first-ever campaign in South America. These prominent and progressive entities have joined together to inaugurate the campaign by way of the delivery of a travel industry seminar promoting a series of six (6) set itinerary programs under the banner of “Unforgettable Places” to the major retail travel agencies in Buenos Aires.

A morning long seminar attracted an audience of 142 travel agency owners and senior sales specialists, and in addition, the key figures of the travel industry, travel media, and consumer media travel publications, as well as cable TV travel specialist journalists. The Unforgettable Places campaign is aimed directly at highlighting the Argentine traveler and the travel trade, compelling reasons to visit and combine the regional destinations of Cape Town and the Cape Garden Route, Mpumalanga´s natural wonders such as the Blyde River Canyon and world-beating safari activities through the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, and the globally iconic Kruger National Park, plus the relaxation and lure of the heavenly Seychelles islands with their pristine white sandy beaches, distinctive Creole culture and cuisine together with a natural eco-system that time has left untouched.

The Unforgettable Places campaign began in November 2010 and will run initially through to the end of May 2011, with the likelihood of it being extended, based on and measured purely on the success and results of the first seven months marketing returns.

Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board and eTurboNews ambassador, has said that this initiative of partnership with South Africa will bring about a win win for both countries and it reinforces the diversification approach being adopted by Seychelles.

Source: Seychelles Tourism Board

U.S. Virgin Islands Department Of Tourism Launches Local TV Campaign

As a component of its ongoing local tourism awareness campaign, the Department of Tourism is launching five new television spots designed to raise the level of customer service in the Territory and promote the customer service pledge. The ads will air locally on the Government Access Channel and other local cable channels beginning this week. Each spot features a mocko jumbie character who intervenes when poor service is being delivered and “inspires” the service provider to take the customer service pledge. In the spots, taking the pledge results in the delivery of superior customer service, produces satisfied customers and fills the service provider with pride. The interactions depicted in the ads came directly from comments received by mystery shoppers who visited the Territory in 2009 to rate the level of service in the USVI. In addition to placing the ads on local television, the Department plans to incorporate them into school presentations to encourage dialogue about exploring attitudes and cultural differences as it relates to tourism. The spots may currently be viewed online at WWW.USVIMARKETING.COM. The spots were produced by Tell Tale Pictures, a film and digital production company based on St. John.

For more information on the customer service pledge and to take the pledge visitWWW.USVISERVICEPLEDGE.COM.

Ecuador Launches Tourism Marketing Campaign, New Tour Routes

Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism has launched a new branding campaign entitled “Ecuador, Love Life,” along with a series of new themed tourism routes. The routes include “Ruta de las Flores” (The Flower Trail), which focuses on Ecuador’s high-quality roses and flowers. Also featured will be “Tren de Mitad del Mundo” (The Middle of the World Train), focusing on the restoration of the entire 100-year-old railway connecting Quito in the Andes and Guayaquil on the Pacific Coast. The Spondylus Trail will offer travelers a journey through time to discover the Las Vegas culture, which thrived in the country more than 11,000 years ago, as well as to see the remnants of the Valdivia Culture, which dates back to 4,000 B.C. and influenced ancient clay sculptures and utensils. The Spondylus Trail also offers visitors opportunities to stand where the explorer Pizarro first landed in South America to initiate his conquest of the Inca Empire. The Toquilla straw hat (more commonly known as the Panama hat) also originated along this route and is still handcrafted here. Source

Destination BrandWatch: Visit Britain, Greece & Queensland/Australia unveil new tourism campaigns

  • VisitBritain partners BA for tourism campaign

British Airways and VisitBritain have partnered up to jointly fund a global tourism campaign that is launching this week. Under the banner, “Britain. A different picture around every corner”, they are targeting traditional tourists looking for classic experiences. Among the countries being targeted are China, Japan, India, Russia, Hungary, Austria and Poland.

This £1.6 million campaign is designed to support research that the UK is packed with more world-class history and heritage sites compared to any other place on Earth. It will show how traveling to Britain is easy when booking with British Airways, with special fares for economy passengers included. Media familiarization trips and the syndication of content from the VisitBritain website onto the consumer databases and website of British Airways will be included.

VisitBritain is hoping to use the emotional allure and authenticity of Britain’s attractions. Marketing director Laurence Bresh says that the UK has more attractions per square mile than any other place in the world. They are delighted to announce that British Airways is the lead partner in their largest campaign in the past year, he continued, which is strong evidence that they are making progress in winning match-funding from the private sector to help increase tourist numbers and revenue for the nation. They believe this campaign will inspire visitors to travel the country, he added.

Advertising will be focused in large potentially-lucrative markets such as China, India and Russia, as well as a mixture of European and Asian countries including Austria, Hungary, Japan and Poland.


  • New web-based Greek tourism campaign unveiled

The Internet will spearhead the campaign launched by the ministry of culture and tourism focusing new campaigns for Greece.

Minister Pavlos Geroulanos referred to the new tourism campaign strategy on Tuesday during the presentation of 13 new videos available on the youinGreece internet site and pointed out that the Greek Tourism Organization is being transformed into an agency that will undertake to promote Greece abroad.

Presenting the new portal, Geroulanos announced that the new internet programme is an improved version of the youinGreece and the “Alliance for Greece” campaign.

Visitors will be able to upload their favorite photos and videos and will be given the opportunity to promote the “Greece they love”, the country’s natural beauty and all the distinct characteristics that make it a special place in the world. The visual material will be accompanied by a small 25-word text where users will describe their own experience.

In a later stage, the archive of will be used as a basis for a total of 90 personal experiences that will be available on, ten for each of the nine tourism sectors namely, nautical, meetings, seaside, Athens and Thessaloniki, culture, luxury, nature, touring and wellness.

  • Tourism Queensland’s new brand, “Queensland, Where Australia Shines”

A new global brand creative aimed at attracting more Americans to visit Queensland was launched today. The new $4 million global tourism brand—Queensland, Where Australia Shines—was unveiled on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The push will replace the state’s existing “Where Else But Queensland?” campaign, which is nearly 12 years old. The slogan was accompanied by a 60-second video, packed with pictures of happy families at the beach and bronzed bodies hitting the surf. The experts applauded the line “Where Australia shines”, saying the campaign was a cut above other tourism slogans. By explicitly mentioning Australia, Ms Taylor said, the campaign could piggy-back on the federal government’s “There’s Nothing Like Australia” ads.”It’s positioned to take deliberate advantage of all the money that’s being spent globally,” she said. Tourism supports nearly 250,000 jobs in Queensland, which is five times the number employed in the mining industry, Ms Bligh said.


Destination Crisis & Disaster Management on the Web: Lessons from Iceland, Greece, Thailand & the Gulf Coast.

The tourism industry is arguably one of the most important sources of income and foreign exchange for the global economy. However, national and international crises have huge negative economic consequences since tourism is especially vulnerable to crises & disasters and, being fragmented, often its response is difficult to initiate and coordinate. Tourism is also information intensive and when in crisis its information needs are increased. Destinations are extremely vulnerable to public perceptions of health and safety and need knowledge for responding successfully though effective response, recovery, and resilience strategies.

To this direction, social media have already proven their value to many destinations, not only to promote some of the world’s most popular tourism campaigns, but also as a powerful tool in their toolbox when dealing with a crisis.

Surprisingly few destinations, however, have included social media into their strategic communication frameworks – even those that have sophisticated crisis management protocols in place.

With the scale and abundance of recent crises, effective response through social media has become a highly topical issue within the tourism industry. However, while leading DMOs, industry bodies and destination marketing professionals advocate the introduction of digital media into risk/crisis management strategies as a means to better respond against adversity – the operational capacity and efficient reaction of any destination is only truly determined in conditions of pressure.

The experience of recently crisis badly affected destinations such as Thailand, Greece, Iceland and the Gulf Coast provide an opportunity to examine destinations’ social media response strategies and the common objective of destination brand recovery.

Thailand and Greece are two significant tourism destinations, which have had the misfortune of experiencing their reputations as tourism destinations suffer as a result of heavily-publicized episodes of politically-motivated violence.

In Thailand, nearly three weeks after the army crackdown on anti-government protests, many continue to use the Web as a convenient place to unload their emotions and thoughts about one of the most painful moments yet in modern Thai history. A political analyst and blogger who goes by the handle ‘Bangkok Pundit’ says that an “information deficit” had pushed people into cyberspace.

The Thai Tourism Authority (TAT) was understandably anxious to restore tourism to Thailand, and its web site has done an excellent job in addressing the protest issue. However, TAT made the error of launching a mass-marketing campaign too early while protests and the military response were at their height. While it is true that most of the Red Shirt-related violence was confined to central Bangkok, the global perception built by media coverage and heavily cautionary travel advisories was that the entire country was dangerous. TAT needed to engage a recovery alliance, which includes media, key tourism stakeholders from source markets, airlines which service Thailand, and the national carrier Thai Air.

As David Beirman (senior lecturer at the University of Technology-Sydney) successfully points out “Regrettably, TAT lost a lot of credibility from its overzealous mid-crisis destination marketing campaign so its will need to rely heavily on its stakeholders to be its messengers. TAT should certainly make a major effort to host travel-related media and opinion leaders among the tourism industry of its source markets to deliver a positive message to the tourism business and to consumers.

On the other hand, the Greek unrest was relatively short-lived and almost entirely confined to the parliamentary district of Athens. The City of Athens Official Tourist Board ( has managed to utilize its social networks immediately and provide real-time information about the incidents that were taking place at the time. On the contrary, the Greek National Tourist Board preferred to stay inactive throughout the demonstrations period without trying to inform travelers neither to promote Greece as a safe destination.

The City’s tourism authority moved even further by actively promoting a Twitter hashtag – #ATHsafety – for followers to use and share information on the ground. In addition to that the interaction with followers was also carried over to the Breathtaking Athens Facebook page, where – once again – the organization posted links to news stories about the protests and also offered advice to visitors. Moreover, a new on-line campaign will be in place within the next two weeks to further promote the City’s USPs and its brand as a safe city break destination and an ideal base for island-hopping to the Greek archipelagos.

On the same course, most of the US destinations which were affected from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill approximately seven weeks ago, are now starting to acknowledge the event after their initial hesitation. While the Florida Tourist board had a vivid reaction through the web by informing the travelers and placing pressure to both BP & the US government for helping them to recover, all the other affected states such as Louisiana, Alabama & Mississippi preferred to stay silent on the facts.

The local tourist boards have now placed messages and links to further information on their homepages, while Florida went even further and began a $2.5 million emergency response campaign in 15 of Florida’s summer drive markets on May 15. The emergency response campaign directed consumers to Florida Live on to watch live webcams, read Twitter feeds and view up-to-the-minute photos posted by real people in real time from beach destinations throughout Florida. The existing ad buys in those 15 markets will now shift to the new messaging featuring Northwest Florida. In addition to that, Florida announced an aggressive 90-day marketing campaign, pumping $7 million into the first three weeks of new advertising. The campaign is in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and its mission is to encourage vacationers in other parts of the country to continue their plans to travel to Florida. Finally, Visit Florida has launched a blog site to respond to the travel industry’s request for information on the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill— the site can be found at

Last but not least, the example of the European ash crisis and the airlines social media response has been probably has probably been the most important one. As Kevin May/Tnooz nicely states:  “If the US presidential election of 2008 was the first occasion that social media played a major role in politics, then perhaps the ash drama of 2010 will be the most significant so far in travel.”

Most of the major European airlines turned to Twitter to get their message out, perhaps not due to having hundreds of thousands of followers but because it became apparent very quickly that any official status from an airline was quickly retweeted by countless Twitter users

(read the full article at:

Unfortunately for Iceland, after the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted earlier this year, the number of visitors to the country dropped significantly. This dip in tourism has been the driving force for the “Inspired By Iceland” campaign which aims to boost the image of the country and its tourism industry. The campaign hopes to show the rest of the world that Iceland is still a safe place to visit and since the volcano eruption began only a small percentage of the country has been affected by the ash.

Further to this initiative, At around 1400 GMT last Thursday (June 3), the residents of Iceland, Trade Council of Iceland, Tourist Board of Iceland and various other travel companies, such as Icelandair, logged on for an hour in support of the new “Inspired By Iceland” online campaign. Iceland’s 320,000 inhabitants have been using the Internet to send personal messages describing what they love most about their homeland and now they invite the rest of world to do the same. Yoko Ono, a long time fan of Iceland, also helped to urge people to back the “Inspired By Iceland” campaign via her Twitter and blog, as well as numerous other musicians and entertainers from Iceland and across the world. The campaign had a massive coverage from both web & traditional media and managed to draw back the attention to the country, but this time for a good reason.

It can be perceived from the above that Digital crisis communications is a new aspect that needs added to a Crisis Management plan. Social media, blogging, and tweeting have proven to be viable, usable communications tools with far reaching uses- some of which are still being defined or refined. Having examined the aforementioned cases, it derives that in the digital world a) everything happens in a lightning speed b) people demand hyper-transparency c) dialogue is as important as message delivery and d) silence won’t handle a crisis. DMOs will need to carefully incorporate social media into their crisis management plans and make sure that they have appropriate and sufficient resources for this purpose.


Emotional Marketing & Destinations: Breathtaking Athens

Breathtaking Athens, the official DMO for The City of Athens,Greece  produced a short viral film to promote Athens as a tourist destination to a global audience. The film reveals a wide variety of city locations in a poetic way.

The concept of a roving bubble, representing moments of inspiration of visitors, the ever changing character of the city and of breath ‘taken away’. The bubble takes the viewer on a journey through well known parts of the city, as well as some secret spots.

The images are all genuine shots of the living city and the bubbles were created by ‘Krazybubbler’, Emil of performance artists Banialuki. Living Projects worked with Soundlens to create an original score for the piece, performed by Josh Crocker and Craig Scott.

The film is going to be part of a global web campaign and will be displayed on screens at Breathtaking Athens information points for tourists around the city. The film is viewing on Youtube and has been feature in Creative Review.