Greek News, the weekly bilingual Greek American newspaper, will be repeating this year, its two-month campaign to boost Greek tourism, by encouraging Greek – Americans and Philhellenes, but also their friends, to visit Greece during summer. The campaign covers both the printed bilingual and electronic version of Greek News (www.greeknewsonline.com). The message is clear: “Because we love Greece and we want to help! Fellow Greek American, invite your American friends to show them your birthplace”.
“The messages of the campaign by Greek News, besides the economic breath they intend to give to our homeland, they also constitute at this difficult hour, a demonstration of support and solidarity towards the people of Greece, to make them feel that they are not alone”, states the director – editor of the Newspaper, journalist Apostolos Zoupaniotis to ANA – MPA.
Last year, Greek News was the first Greek media in the world to initiate the campaign “We Go to Greece”, in the midst of a particularly negative international climate for our homeland, where the visitors’ security was questioned. The message was reproduced by 1500 Greek speaking and 150 non-Greek media and internet sites.
“Now it’s time for action and we must rise to meet our historic responsibilities towards our homeland. Words and criticism can wait”, states Apostolos Zoupaniotis in conclusion.
During the two-month campaign, Greek News will be hosting a series of interviews and messages by various eminent figures, Greek, American and members of the Diaspora, but also ordinary citizens.
This year’s campaign has earned the moral support of the Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, George Nikitiadis, GNTO President, Nikos Kanelloppoulos, Greece’s ambassador in Washington, Vasilis Kaskarelis, SAE President, Stefanos P. Tamvakis and SAE U.S.A. Region Coordinator, T.G. Spyropoulos.
Addressing “one of the most dynamic parts of Hellenism, which has proven repeatedly that it maintains a close relationship with the motherland in the most active way”, Prime Minister, George Papandreou, calls for everyone’s contribution “to bring back to Greece at a position she deserves to be”. At the same time, he mentions last year’s initiative as a prime example for the promotion of our country as an incomparable tourist resort.
In his message, the Prime Minister of Greece also states that;
“Within the last eighteen months there have been, undoubtedly many actions to overcome the crisis and bring progress in the country; and we have already begun to see the first positive results. The course, however, will be neither easy nor short. It will take sacrifice, work, and above all collective joint action.”
Adding that “This year, the Greeks of the Diaspora should to do something more. Each and every one of you could serve as an ambassador of Greece to your social and working environment. Convey to your friends, neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances the image of modern Greece, thus strengthening the flaw of visitors to our country.”
Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism in his message stresses that “…we Greeks have learned during the difficult times to be united like a fist”, stating, among other things that Greece is in need of Greeks abroad, more than ever, while calling all Diaspora Greeks “to become a part of the effort to save our economy”.
“The American market remains cautiously optimistic in regard to sales, nevertheless it is one of the greatest markets for our country and as such requires effective actions, to substantially boost demand”, states among others, GNTO President, Nikolas Kanellopoulos, among other things.
“This summer we go with our family to Greece”, states the Ambassador of Greece in Washington, Vassilis Kaskarelis, emphasizing that in our homeland “is the place where the past meets the future; where the ancient civilization passes the baton to modern technology and modern infrastructure; where hospitality remains the firm conviction of a nation that still has much to offer”.
The President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), states; “…our visit to our homeland, encouraging our friends to follow, contributes, not only towards the strengthening of our Tourism market, but also the Economy of Greece and expansion of the already great circle of Philhellenes, who are vital to our homeland.”
SAE U.S.A. Region Coordinator, T.G. Spyropoulos, encourages organized Diaspora bodies to hold their annual conferences in Greece.
“The organization of our conferences in Greece is not only a gift to our home, but also ourselves, and most importantly the younger generations of the Greek Diaspora”, states T.G. Spyropoulos, while stating that this national effort should also become a Diaspora effort.
Full messages follow:
Prime Minister of Greece – George Papandreou
“Dear compatriots, I am delighted to have the opportunity to send this message to one of the most dynamic parts of Hellenism, which has proven repeatedly that it maintains a close relationship with the motherland in the most active way. A relationship expressed through your support to our national issues and with substantial support for Greece and Hellenism.
Today’s message involves your contribution at a time when our country needs the commitment of all of us and the exploitation our innate creativity, to bring back to Greece at a position she deserves to be. Within the last eighteen months there have been, undoubtedly many actions to overcome the crisis and bring progress in the country; and we have already begun to see the first positive results.
The course, however, will be neither easy nor short. It will take sacrifice, work, and above all collective joint action.
Together and individually we can and must assist the joint effort.
And at this point, I would like to highlight as an important example, your own initiative last year to promote our country as an incomparable tourist destination.
This year, the initiative must be continued and expanded. We therefore invite you to visit your motherland this year; go back for a while to the home grounds of your ancestors who kept forever in their hearts and minds Hellenism alive and delivered it to you.
This year, the Greeks of the Diaspora should to do something more. Each and every one of you could serve as an ambassador of Greece to your social and working environment. Convey to your friends, neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances the image of modern Greece, thus strengthening the flaw of visitors to our country.
As you know, our goal is for the visitors of our country, not only to enjoy its natural beauty and learn the history and culture, but also be partakers of Hellenism; to live the trip to Greece as a lifelong experience; and to go back to his country with unforgettable memories of the Greek countryside and the timeless culture of our homeland.
In pursuing this objective, your contribution is crucial. This summer, I invite you all to work together to remind the friends of our country, the reasons why they deserve and should visit Greece.”
Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism – George Nikitiadis“The Greeks of Diaspora have always maintained their homeland Greece in their hearts; the country that they were forced to leave behind in search of a better life in difficult times for Greece. They have proven this love in any way, when the country needed their help. We call again the Greeks of the Diaspora to support our country in these difficult moments.
The initiative of your newspaper “Greek News”, “This summer we go to Greece with our American friends, to show them the place of our dreams” is an important one and commendable. Do not forget, we Greeks have learned during the difficult times to be united like a fist. If a foreign invader attacked Greece, wouldn’t the Greeks of the Diaspora rush to help in any way they could? The same is happening now; only the Raiders are coming with weapons of financial speculation.
This year Greece needs our expatriates more than ever; to become a part of the effort to save our economy. We want each and every one to become a herald for our country by promoting her. Each one can persuade our friends that our country has an endless beauty, a unique cultural wealth and can provide security to everyone, while maintaining low prices.”
Greece’s Ambassador in the U.S. – Vassilis Kaskarelis
Like every summer, this year our country will become a magnet for visitors who choose it as a destination for their vacation. At a time when our country gives one more battle, Greece is transforming and opening to the world, proving once again its readiness and determination to move forward on the path of change; offering a highly competitive and authentic product to those who decide to visit her. In this context, the assistance of the Greek Diaspora is sought.
Greece is not just another destination. She is the place where the past meets the future; where the ancient civilization passes the baton to modern technology and modern infrastructure; where hospitality remains the firm conviction of a nation that still has much to offer.
This summer we are going with our friends in Greece.
In a country that has the means to respond to all forms of entertainment and creative use of leisure time, while combining the authentic identity of the region and its people. The place where every corner is directly connected with a long history; where simple activities can provide the greatest pleasures; where the elements of nature are combined with the authenticity of its people, so as to welcome visitors and offer them the full meaning of hospitality
This summer we go with our family to Greece.
The place where familiar images and unforgettable memories unite with family history and tradition; the place where different traditions and customs constitute a unique set of Greekness; the place where our families lived; where our childhood memories could become the basis for the creation of new ones with the strengthening of our relations with the motherland.
This year we go to Greece, where priceless beauty and timeless tradition are creating a cultural environment that is unique in the world.
SAE President – Stefanos P. Tamvakis
In the difficult times our homeland is experiencing, initiatives, such as the one you have undertaken, confirms, once again, that the Greek Diaspora has always been a firm supporter of our birthplace.
The Greek News Campaign, held for the second consecutive year, comes as reinforcement to the efforts of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for a targeted communication policy, also supported by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad.
It is not a coincidence that tourism has been characterized as the “heavy industry” of Greece, as it possesses priceless natural wealth and beauty, which is essential to utilize. Furthermore, alternative forms of Tourism can form a major attraction for visitors from all over the world, throughout the year.
It is important that every one of us understands, that our visit to our homeland, encouraging our friends to follow, contributes, not only towards the strengthening of our Tourism market, but also the Economy of Greece and expansion of the already great circle of Philhellenes, who are vital to our homeland.
Apart from the invaluable contribution of Greek Diaspora Media, which I have repeatedly emphasized, it is important for all networks of Ecumenical Hellenism to join forces, in this difficult situation that Greece is facing, in fact the most difficult, as noted, in the period of regime change.
With these thoughts, I wish you every success in your campaign, along with congratulations on the praiseworthy effort of your newspaper.
Until we meet again in our homeland!
Stefanos P. Tamvakis
SAE U.S.A. Coordinator, T.G. Spyropoulos
May the national effort become a Diaspora effort!
Greece was and remains one of the most attractive tourist destinations for Americans and the members of the Greek American community. It combines natural beauty, the best climate, beautiful beaches, awe inspiring landscapes, tourist infrastructure, and traditional products, offering alternative and varying forms of tourism.
From traditional to modern forms of tourism, Greece is a heavenly resort for someone who wants to combine their holidays with every form of sports, health or curative purposes, ecology, gastronomy, spiritual quest, religion, history, cultural or scientific tourism, conferences, agro-tourism, mountain or sea tourism, professional tourism, green tourism, tourism for senior citizens, entertainment, education, recreation, relaxation or adventure…
Above all, however, Greece is the land of light, inspiration and culture, with breathtaking archaeological sites, memorials, museums and remarkable modern cultural attractions.
For the younger generation of the Greek American community it offers quality educational summer programs and pioneer volunteer projects, which contribute to a simultaneous familiarization with modern Greece, its history, while establishing ties with the homeland.
My encouragement towards the organized Diaspora, for national local, but also regional or professional organizations is the organization of our annual conferences in Greece for the forthcoming years. The organization of our conferences in Greece is not only a gift to our home, but also ourselves, and most importantly the younger generations of the Greek Diaspora.
Let us explore the regions of Greece we never visited in the past and let us give the opportunity to younger generations to trace the steps of our forefathers, who developed the glorious Greek civilization.
The economy of Greece relies on tourism to a great extent. As an industry it has exquisite potential and has been significantly upgraded over the recent years. It is of vital importance to our country and through the support and promotion of tourism, by making our contribution towards the effort it is making to overcome the unprecedented crisis. May this national effort become a Diaspora effort!
Let’s make GNTO’s motto “Visit Greece” our priority, this year and for the years to follow, for our holidays, getaways, the organization of Diaspora or professional conferences throughout the year!
It is a simple and tangible expression of our interest and love for our blessed country of origin!
In support of the excellent initiative of Greek News, let us all Greek – Americans unite our voices and invite our family and members of our broader social and professional circle to visit this year the land where the ideal of hospitality was born, the land of Zeus Xenios!
Source: ANA – MPA