by Nikos Krinis
Greece is sending out a message to the world: to stay home – due to the current developments involving the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic – but at the same time to stay in touch through technology.
The Greek Tourism Ministry on Thursday announced the launch of the new online platform Greece From Home that looks to promote the country’s image to people all over the world and invites them to visit – not by traveling physically, but virtually – straight from the comfort and safety of their homes.
An initiative created jointly by the Greek Tourism Ministry, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) and Marketing Greece, Greece From Home has three goals: to help people from all over the world stay in touch with the country and its culture; for people (future travelers) to discover destinations and be inspired by the country’s beauties; for tourism professionals to brush up on their digital skills. All this while staying safe at home.
According to Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis, the Greece From Home platform is part of the government’s overall strategic response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In addition to taking measures to protect public health, shield and restart the economy and rebuild Greek society, the government is also taking steps to strengthen and manage the image of our country as a tourism destination,” the minister said on Thursday during a web press conference he held to introduce the platform to the media.
The minister also highlighted the cooperation between the public and private sector for the initiative.
“It is particularly important that, in these difficult times, the public and private sectors work together to support Greek tourism, while also cooperating to prepare for the next day,” Minister Theoharis said.
The design of the Greece From Home platform was done by the Chief Creative Officer of the Greek Government, Steve Vranakis, and his creative teams Ithaca Lab and Prinz & Co, in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry, GNTO, Marketing Greece and Google.
Referring to the Covid-19 pandemic as one of the most difficult moments “we are going through in terms of what is happening to our industry right now”, Vranakis said that Greece From Home follows the Greek #menoumespiti concept.
“We want to send a message about all the things we can do from home,” he said.
The platform is aimed towards a dual audience – international and Greeks.
“Greece From Home is for prospective visitors alongside Greeks, so there is content that will allow people to stay connected internationally. It is very important for people to still have Greece on the top of their minds and under their consideration whilst no one is traveling psychically, but they are still thinking about it,” Vranakis added.
The platform has three main sections: Watch – Visit – Learn
In this section, people are encouraged and inspired to stay home and stay connected to Greece’s culture through the GNTO’s Visit Greece channel on YouTube. The channel offers new and select content by Greek artists from around the world and includes Greek music, gastronomy, theater, dance, sports, fashion as well as videos with destinations and experiences from all over Greece.
“Greek tourism makes its presence felt during this unprecedented crisis. As long as our guests stay home, we as a brand and destination are close to them, from our home, through Greece From Home… Through the campaign our primary goal is to send a message of support to those currently experiencing it, but it is also a strategic action to support Greek tourism while preparing for the next day,” GNTO Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis said.
The aim in this section is for everyone to be able to “visit” Greece from their home. Marketing Greece’s discovergreece.com has created a digital portal with rich content and exciting digital experiences. Virtual travelers can visit Greece’s archaeological sites museums, villages and traditions; “taste” the country’s gastronomy; and “experience” nature excursions… all from the safety of their homes.
“We are living shocking times right now and what we all have to do is unite our forces. Today, more than ever, Greece and Greek tourism need to send their message of hope and optimism as far as possible, that these days will end and we will all be together again. Until then, we invite the international traveling community to dream from the safety of their home when they ‘visit’ our country and ‘experience’ the Greek summer,” Marketing Greece CEO Ioanna Dretta said.
Aiming to support tourism businesses and their staff and offer them tools to upgrade their digital skills, the Greece From Home initiative has partnered with Google’s Grow Greek Tourism Online to offer a series of new home-based daily online group seminars. The seminars are offered free of charge and cover a variety of topics, from how to create a digital marketing plan for a tourism business, to how professionals can work remotely, and more. Upon completion of the seminars, participants will receive a certificate of attendance from Google, the Tourism Ministry and IAB Europe. For more information on the seminars (in Greek), press here.
“Our goal is for the tourism industry to be empowered with digital tools and skills to manage the challenges of the day, but also to grow together for an even better tomorrow,” Google Southeastern Europe CEO Peggy Antonakou said.
To “visit” Greece from your home, press here.