Google has announced the expansion of the program aimed at helping Greek tourism grow, according to a recent press conference. The initiative “Grow Greek Tourism Online” started early in September 2014, in Crete, where more than 650 local tourism businesses were trained in online tools to enhance their tourism growth rates throughout the year. The initiative, organized by Google in collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Tourism, GNTO and SETE, will be expanding in Peloponnese, Cyclades, the Ionian Islands, Macedonia, Dodecanese and Attica.
Tourism is Greece’s most profitable. In 2014, it was estimated that tourism yielded about 17 billion euro in the Greek economy, accounting for more than 20.5% of GDP and 20% of employment. The opportunity for further growth in the industry through online activity could increase Greece’s GDP by 3%, generating up to 100,000 new jobs, noted Google’s partnership director in Greece, Dionysis Kolokotsas.
The internet is now part of people’s everyday lives, with 51% of EU households using it for their travels. In Greece, only 10% of international tourist arrivals are booked via the Internet, because of Greek tourism businesses’ low web presence. At the same time, while online searches for holidays in Greece remain high during most of the year, approximately 70% of tourist arrivals take place during the summer months, allowing the possibility of increasing arrivals beyond the main tourist season.
The initiative expansion aims to help Greek companies learn about the international search trends not only in key tourism markets interested in Greece but in each individual destination, as well as the best techniques to showcase their business on the internet. In addition, the companies will learn how to use internet marketing tools to strengthen their presence in search results and Google Maps, as well as promoting their offers.
Google is expanding the initiative with events in Kalamata and Mykonos on March 23 and 27, respectively, as well as in Corfu, Thessaloniki, Rhodes and Athens on April 16, 21, 24 and 29 respectively. All local enterprises directly or indirectly related to the tourism industry can enroll and attend the free events through the website g.co/GrowGreekTourism.
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