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Resilience and Digital Transformation in Greek Tourism: Insights from Trends 2024

Episode 22 of Trends 2024 explores Greek tourism’s resilience post-wildfires, with a record 17.4 million air arrivals in 2023, and delves into the industry’s digital revolution.

In our second installment of Trends in 2024, we revisit Episode 22, filmed five months ago in August 2023, just after the devastating summer wildfires that swept through parts of Europe. A focal point of our discussion with Theodore Koumelis was the resilience of Greek tourism, particularly in the aftermath of the fires that mercifully impacted very few popular tourist destinations.

Despite the challenges posed by the localized wildfires, Greece saw a remarkable surge in tourism in 2023 and the country is set to break records again in 2024. According to data from the Greek Tourism Confederation’s institute, INSETE, international air arrivals between January and August 2023 reached 17.4 million, showcasing a record breaking 12.4% increase compared to the same period in 2022. This impressive growth signals the robustness of Greece’s tourism sector, demonstrating its ability to rebound even in the face of natural disasters.

One of the key aspects discussed in this episode was the future format of publishing. Trends Host David Barrett delved into the topic with Theo, who firmly believes in the supremacy of digital platforms. Theo highlighted the success story of Travel Daily News Asia-Pacific and its International counterpart, both of which embraced digital-only formats back in 1999. This foresight has proven invaluable as the world undergoes a digital revolution, especially in the tourism industry.

Theo urged stakeholders in travel and hospitality to embrace digital technology rather than shy away from it. The ongoing disruption in the industry, fuelled by advancements in artificial intelligence, big data, smart contracts and robotics is reshaping how travel and hospitality bookings are managed. From personalised guest experiences to the integration of smart contracts with built-in insurance, the industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace.

Theo also expressed his vision of bringing the Conference back to Asia, particularly in Bangkok. Major technology providers and key travel organizations are eager in coming onboard as sponsors and content supporters. The potential return of the Asia conference and expo promises to be a significant event, providing a platform for industry leaders to explore the latest trends and innovations.

When asked about the presence of Greeks in Thailand, Theo highlighted a small yet vibrant community. The establishment of the Hellenic-Thai Chamber of Commerce (HTCC) signifies the growing ties between the Greek and Thai business communities. This chamber not only provides leadership but also facilitates business collaboration, welcoming new members eager to connect with the diverse professionals and entrepreneurs within the Greek community in Bangkok.

The growth in popularity of Greek food and products in Thailand was another notable point. Theo has organized several Greek food and beverage promotions and trade events in Bangkok, tapping into the Thai appetite for diverse culinary experiences. As Greeks and Thais increasingly discover each other’s cultures, tourism numbers between the two countries are expected to rise even more in 2024, despite the temporary setback of direct flights being canceled due to the aftermath of COVID.

A final note from Theo emphasized the importance of embracing digital trends and dispelling fears of artificial intelligence and robotics. The rapidly changing landscape of the tourism industry demands adaptability. And Travel Daily News Media Network stands ready to provide timely and insightful digital updates, ensuring its continued role as a key player in reporting on the evolving trends shaping the future of travel and hospitality. As we navigate the dynamic intersection of technology and tourism, the industry is poised for further transformation, and Travel Daily News remains at the forefront of delivering the latest developments to its global audience.

Managing Director - DBC Asia | + Articles

David Barrett is a MICE Consultant, Marketing Strategist and digital video advocate. Founder of DBC Group, Member of Institute of Place Management (MIMP) his motto is “Everybody has a story to tell. Let me tell yours.”

David is a long-term resident of Bangkok having lived and worked in the Thai capital for more than 32 years. He is recognised in the Thai tourism and hospitality industry for his passion for promoting Thailand, his love of Thai food, and his creative approach to marketing.

64 years young, David is a Brit in Bangkok. Born in St Helier, UK, he returned to the UK and set up home in Cornwall during the COVID pandemic. With business back as usual, David has returned to Thailand. He’s a man on a mission to interview leaders and trend-setters in business, sustainability, the arts and entertainment. You can watch his weekly conversations on Trends YouTube channel.