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Greece Launches New Campaign to Attract Retirees

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‘Wanna feel 20 again?’. 2022 Greek ad campaign. Credit: Greek Travel Pages / GNTO

‘Wanna feel 20 again?’ is the Greek National Tourism Organization’s (GNTO) winter 2022-23  marketing campaign. Now, Greece wants to extend its tourist season by attracting retirees to the country.

The difference between the summer 2022 campaign (Greece—You will want to stay forever!) is that the it focused on emotions while the new global campaign focuses on the pocket. This changes the approach somewhat.

Greece: You will want to stay forever!

In May of this year, The Ministry of Tourism, announced the launch of the global campaign “Greece: You will want to stay forever,” created with the support of the Onassis Foundation. The aim was to boost the country’s summer season—and it worked.

The campaign was highly successful, drawing nearly eight million tourists in the first half of the year, which was an increase of 428.9 percent in comparison to 2021.

The GNTO ad also helped generate 5.126 billion euros in revenue between January and June with an expected earning of nearly twenty billion by the end of the year.

Greece! You will want to stay forever!
GNTO advertising campaign ‘Greece! You will want to stay forever!’. Photo Credit: Greek Travel Pages

GNTO’s Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis explained the concept behind the summer campaign. In his own words, “A true story this year becomes the focus of our content, which touches on the feelings of travelers and centers on the authenticity of destination Greece. [It is] an identity and authenticity so strong that they will make the visitor think of staying in our country forever.”

The campaign featured an Austrian man called Otto, who visited the country after suffering from burnout. He then decided to stay in Greece.

“Τhe peace, simplicity and beauty he experienced led him to stay, work, start a family in Greece, and eventually change his life forever,” said Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.

Life change is still the focus for their latest campaign launch. This time around however, the GNTO is going for the gold in the form of well-off retirees seeking warmer climates and a more Mediterranean lifestyle.

GNTO’s new advertising campaign: “Wanna feel 20 again?”

The ad campaign is one that promises to be hugely attractive to British and European retirees tired of colder weather and the high living costs of their home country. The campaign appeals to such a market through its marketing phrase “wanna feel 20 again? With warm winter temperatures up to 20C, Greece is the place to be.”

The $19.5 million campaign is similar to the one launched in Spain. The Spanish tourism department is betting on the fact that retired northerners are getting fed up with the cold.

This was confirmed by Miguel Ángel Sotillos, president of the Spanish federation of tourist departments. According to Sotillos, “From what we’re seeing, people are [realizing] that it’s cheaper to come here than to [turn] the heating on at home.”

Likewise, the Greek National Tourism Organization is hoping to profit from this new type of tourism and the boost it would provide for the Greek economy.

“People, especially pensioners, have always thought about the western Mediterranean in the winter months,” stated Maziotis. Hence, the image of a young-at-heart, silver-haired couple lounging on a yacht while drinking champagne has the potential to be highly appealing.

Greek Ministry of Tourism’s plan is to generate year-round income from tourism. An added bonus would be the extra monetary input middle and upper-middle class retirees could bring. This is the first time the GNTO has focused on year-round tourism, including winter tourism.

“What we’re saying,” Dimitris Maziotis affirmed, “is the eastern Mediterranean is here, too.”

‘All you want is Greece’—The GNTO and sustainable tourism

All you want is Greece. GNTOs 2021 advertising campaign
‘All you want is Greece.’ GNTOs 2021 advertising campaign. Credit: Greek Travel Pages

The two campaigns are continuations of  ’ 2021 ‘All you want is Greece’ narrative.

“The campaign is based on a new narrative of the enriched and diversified Greek tourist product that focuses on people and the experiences that our visitor can [enjoy] everywhere in Greece all year round,“ Fragakis said.

The Secretary General also added the point was to ensure that the long-term campaign went beyond promoting Greece’s renowned “sun and sea” model.

This is a type of sustainable tourism that goes far beyond the reach of the previous years’ efforts. The desire is to also protect the country from the negative impact of overtourism.

Safeguarding Europe and its destinations from overtourism should be a key priority, according to Angela Gerekou, president of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) , who spoke during the 11th Cultural Routes Annual Advisory Forum of the Council of Europe on Crete.

“We must protect this cultural reserve and the authentic character of local communities from over-tourism so that these continue to drive macro-regional development,” she said.

Gerekou spoke in reference to some of the best practices in cultural tourism in Greece. Those include the likes of the Alonissos Underwater Museum on the Sporades islands and the village of Soufli, selected by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as one of its Best Tourism Villages.

This ties into the GNTOs 2020 “Greece: More than a Destination” advertisements.  Sustainable tourism is now an important concept not only for Greece, however, but for many European countries.


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