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Athens Olympics spurs Greek ATM presence

Greece is stepping up its participation in this year’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai as the country moves closer to…

Greece is stepping up its participation in this year’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai as the country moves closer to the staging of the Athens 2004 Olympics in August.

The Greek National Tourism Board has substantially increased its stand size and the country’s private sector is seeking individual participation in the show with representatives from hotels and tour operators.

“The enlarged participation from Greece is understandable in the run up to the Olympic Games, an event which will bring the country an influx of sporting tourists and which will enhance its international standing,” said Matt Thompson, Overseas Exhibitions Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), which organises Arabian Travel Market.

“What is particularly encouraging is the entry into the show of the Greek private sector, which has previously been limited to an exclusive resort and yacht chartering supplier.”

Greece is one of a record 43 official government tourism bodies signed up for ATM 2004, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, United Arab Emirates, from May 4-7.

Enclosed destination tourism body participation, the return of national pavilions absent from last year’s show and the first-time entry of Libya into the exhibition has helped propel ATM 2004 into the largest in the annual series’ 11-year history.

“Confirmations have now put stand space growth at 20% more than last year and contracts are still coming in,” said Thompson. “Whereas last year we had a show of 9,000 square metres we anticipate some 11,000 square metres this year – perhaps even more as we mount our final sales push in March and April.”

Returning to ATM this year is Iran – which is to have a pavilion after a break of 10 years – Maison de la France, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore.

“In addition all the major hotel groups have signed up,” said Thompson. “The industry is really demonstrating its resilience and how it has definitely bounced back after last year’s dip caused by the wake of the Iraq conflict and SARS.”

Theodore Koumelis
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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.