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Tourism professionals from Corfu, Central Corfu Municipality and Ionian Islands at World Travel Market in London

tourism
05 Nov 2023 / 11:47

CORFU. The Ionian Islands Region will participate in the Exhibition and will be hosted at the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) booth. It will be represented by the Regional Governor Rodi Kratsa, along with administrative officials, as well as the Deputy Regional Governor for Zakynthos, Katerina Mothonaiou.

The attention of Corfu tourism stakeholders is focused on the World Travel Market in London, which opens its doors on Monday, November 6th, as it is the most significant event worldwide in the travel industry. Tour operators and hoteliers from the island are expected to actively participate in the three-day proceedings of the World Travel Market (WTM), which will conclude on Wednesday, November 8th in the British capital. The agenda includes meetings and contacts with professionals in the British tourism industry, which traditionally serves as the main source of visitors to the island.

"This is the largest tourism exhibition in the world, which serves as a barometer indicating how the next season will go," Spyros Rokas, Vice President of the Corfu Hoteliers Association, told Enimerosi. "It is a very important exhibition because meetings are held between tour operators and hoteliers, and potential agreements and collaborations are discussed."

GNTO booth

The Ionian Islands Region will participate in the WTM and will be hosted at the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) booth. It will be represented by the Regional Governor Rodi Kratsa, along with administrative officials, as well as the Deputy Regional Governor for Zakynthos, Katerina Mothonaiou.

Central Corfu Municipality will also be present as an exhibitor with the Region in a separate booth. Both the Mayor Meropi Ydrayou and the Deputy Mayor of Tourism Panayiotis Varouchas will represent the Municipality to promote Corfu as a top tourist destination by highlighting its competitive advantages.

"We have already scheduled meetings with travel agents and airlines for the promotion of the destination, and there will be meetings with tour operators who deal with off-season holidays, specifically in the months of April, May and October," Mr. Varouchas told Enimerosi.

Over 5,000 exhibitors

The World Travel Market is aimed at tourism professionals and brings together over 5,000 exhibitors, covering the entire spectrum of activities in the global tourism industry. It is one of the most important tourism exhibitions and marks the beginning of international meetings for people in the tourism industry to exchange views, discuss the evolution and transformation of the sector, in order to meet the demands of the new consumer market and to make agreements for the coming years.

This is what the tourism stakeholders expect from such an exhibition, Dimitris Diavatis, Vice President of the Association of Corfu Travel Agents (AOCTA), told Enimerosi. "The United Kingdom is the largest tourist market for Corfu.,," he said. "Agreements for 2024 have been concluded months ago. So we are talking about agreements from 2025 and beyond. We see what customers are asking for, and then the exploration of whether there will be collaborations begins." As he pointed out, customers' interest is focused on quality at all levels, which is a primary concern for the tourism stakeholders.

Bookings have begun

While this year's season is coming to an end, with the last international flight scheduled for November 11, bookings have already started being made for hotels and rental accommodation in Corfu for the 2024 season.

"Bookings have begun, and they are good for next year," said Mr. Rokas. "The Greek brand is very strong, as is the Corfu brand."

"There are bookings for 2024, however, we cannot say with certainty how the new season will unfold,"  said Pericles Katsaros, President of Corfu Federation of Tourism Accommodation Owners. "Many things are happening around us that do not allow us to make predictions."

MARIA BAZDRIYIANNI

Photo: Enimerosi archive