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Santorini Tries To Repair Its Image

santorini_2643434bAfter being beset by power outages and blackouts much of the week, and with the island’s mayor screaming he was left on his own by the government to deal with the problem and unhappy tourists, Greek officials are scrambling to put out a social media campaign that Santorini is still a good place to visit – next year.
That came after Minister of Interior Yiannis Michelakis and Minister of Tourism Olga Kefaloyianni went to the country’s most popular island three days after a fire in a power station caused the first blackout and left tourists with warm beer and candlelight dinners.
Santorini, which has expensive resorts costing visitors thousands of euros a night in some cases, is expected to have as many as 1.9 million visitors this year and earlier this year Kefaloyianni and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who’s been nowhere to find during the crisis, called on Greeks to put on their best face to welcome tourists and help the beleaguered economy.
The Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT) is working on the control damage spin so that visitors won’t be turned off by coming to the island and Michelakis and Kefaloyianni held an emergency meeting on the island on Aug. 16, along with EOT’s General Secretary Panos Livadas and local authorities. The government had sent ships with emergency generators but they arrived far later than expected as Public Power Corporation (PPC) crews worked to repair the electrical damage.
Immediately after the end of the meeting, it was announced that EOT will soon create a promotion campaign for the social media and that it will plan the upgraded presence of the island at World Travel Market 2013 that will take place in London the coming November.
Kefaloyianni said the government did what it could during the blackouts but said there were obvious problems and delays. The outages came during a major holiday period in Greece and the Aug. 15 Dormition of the Virgin Mary holiday with ministers on vacation and the government effectively shut down. There was no word where Samaras was.
“I want to believe that the difficult part has passed. I repeat that the crises and problems are not the best means for promotion and communication. Especially when those crises have to do with the very sensitive sector of tourism. Citizens claim from the politicians meaningful work and not communication exercises,” she said, while giving one.
Kefaloyiannis added: “The Santorini adventure can and should help us draw very useful conclusions for the future of Greek tourism. I’m looking for the proposals by the professionals of the sector with great interest”.

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