Zane Kerby: US travel agents invest in Greece as a leading tourist destination

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US travel agents invest in Greece as a leading tourist destinationASTA President: American travel agents invest time and money in Greece because they feel they can promote the country as a leading tourist destination in the US market

"My mother taught about Greece in American schools all her life, and when she finally got to visit the Acropolis her eyes filled with tears. I am sure that when I go up there, I will also cry..."

This touching little story, revealed by the President of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Zane Kerby during a recent press conference in Athens, speaks louder, perhaps, than anything else of the enduring, hallowed bonds between Greece and the United States of America.

Of the authentic, heartwarming love and inspiring reverence which Americans cherish for this fine, yet glorious, cradle of Western values and civilization that founded their blessed country, too.

Of the historic responsibility that, us Greeks, bear to host our visitors in adherence to all the indelible principles and axioms of philoxenia, the eternal, sacred duty of hospitality that our forefathers bequeathed unto us.

Of the main reasons behind ASTA’s historic decision to let Athens host the "ASTA Destination EXPO 2018", the international conference of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).

Boosting arrivals of US tourists in Greece by 30 pct

The ASTA DESTINATION EXPO ATHENS 2018 exhibition, which will be held in April and is expected to contribute greatly to the promotion of Greek tourism, as it will give tourism organizations and travel agencies the opportunity to visit Greece and promote it as a destination in the coming years. More than 80 percent of all travel agency sales are made through ASTA members.

More than 240 travel agents and tour operators have submitted applications to participate in the exhibition so far and FEDHATA's, the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies, goal is to boost the arrivals of US tourists in Greece by 30 pct. 

In that framework, FEDHATA will also organize special tours in order to promote other Greek destinations, such as the islands of Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini, as well as the city of Thessaloniki.

 “The main aim of the ASTA Destination Expo 2018 is to establish a local network,” Zane Kerby noted and, together with ASTA Vice President Robert Duglin, expressed their confidence that it will promote Greece as a leading global tourist destination and increase the number of US tourists preferring Greek destinations in the years to come.

Impressive safety record

Both ASTA leaders underlined Greece’s impressive safety record, verifying that it is a safe destination for travel and also pointed out that the US travel community for the most part is composed of millennials with greater financial capability than the past and a special preference for destinations abroad. 

“More than 127 million Americans nowadays have a passport, indicative of their great interest in traveling abroad, seeking authentic and local experiences of good value,” Kerby underlined and forecast that the travel agent profession has a bright future.

“The Greek tourism market, on the occasion of the ASTA DESTINATION EXPO ATHENS 2018, sets the foundations for further growth of US tourism in Greece over the next decade, in a country that offers exactly what American tourists expect from their holidays," said the president of FedHATTA, Mr. Lysandros Tsilidis.

The American Society of Travel Agents is among the world’s largest associations of travel professionals. It currently boasts 8,944 members from 3,586 US companies or agencies, while also representing the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA). About 70 percent of its members are American travel agencies, tour operators and companies, while the remaining 30 percent are spread all over the world. 

 

 

 

 

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