Dimitris Rapidis

Tourism is the biggest and most credible and intensive industry of Greece, accounting for 18% of the GDP. Despite the absence of growth and the growing unemployment rates, tourism continues to be the major strenght of the country, especially now that the economic mismanagement of the debt crisis has parallyzed prosperity in the country. The “Up Greek Tourism” campaign endeavors to shape a better image for the country abroad, after Greece’s being in the center of a fierce polemique over its debt management.

The main objective of the campaign is to promote Greek tourism abroad in two ways: directly through the outdoor advertizing campaign, and indirectly through the “word of mouth” created and spread through traditional and social media that are aimed to reproduce the campaign. In this respect, the campaign also hopes to inspire Greek people to take initiatives and help Greek economy, while re-shaping the fundamental features of the Greek nature, which are namely hospitality, resilience, and innovation, against the odds of a considerable part of global media.

The campaign is led by Greek people and it is especially developed in the US and UK (i.e. New York, Washington DC, London). Both countries have been decided to be the major fields of action and advertisement as their people are considered to be frequent travellers in Greece, let alone the fact that a big part of the Greek communities can directly get involved through volunteering and financially contributing. Nonetheless, the fundamental means of promotion is social media where the “Up Greek Tourism” seems to get really well and engage thousands of people.

What is more, the campaing is almost entirely dependent to crowdfunding, as it is a bottom-up project from the people and destined to the people. Until now the campaign has gained significant attention through vast advertizing billboards established in central spots of the aforementioned cities, while the campaing has been endorsed by international media so far, namely New York Times, CNN, BBC, Huffington Post, Kathimerini, and the Gulf News UAE amongst others.

As simple as that, the campaign has been designed without any prior funding and what people need to do along with contributing financially, is to spread the word and unveil the team spirit that Greece is re-triggering.

I personally consider this campaign as of the very few ones that have a human-inclusive cause: it is not only about Greece, but is primarily about the people, the Greeks, the Americans, the Europeans, the Asians, and any other one being inspired by the term ” team spirit”. A well-prepared campaign that needs to be constanly promoted and endorsed.

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