Angela Gerekou is the new president of the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT), as announced by Tourism Minister Charis Theocharis last Thursday. Some experts suggest her placement will not only be a shot in the arm for EOT but that it could mark a new period of growth for tourism from Greece to Australia.
Ms. Gerekou was welcomed by Mr. Theocharis, who pointed out in an announcement:
“Angela Gerekou takes over as president of EOT. Her experience in and knowledge of issues of tourism will contribute to creating a modern EOT, adapted to new conditions.”
During 2009-2010, Gerekou was Greece’s Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister, in the cabinet of George Papandreou.
The new president said that – together with the GNTO’s employees – she aims to lead a modern and innovative organization:
“The GNTO is the country’s ambassador to the whole world and together – the political leadership, myself and the people of the organization – we will do our best to promote Greece to every corner of the globe.”
In this report by Mary Sinanidis the author brings to light an Australian initiative put on the back burner during Greece’s the GNTO’s administration. Now, according to Sinanidis, Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) President Bill Papastergiadis has rebooted the effort. Papastergiadis told Neos Kosmos:
“Tourism statistics provided by Greece have revealed that Australian tourists are the highest spenders per capita in Greece and, due to our distance, spend the longest time in the country globally.”
He went on to frame the potential of Australian tourism to Greece and what could be a brilliant plan to take advantage of the fact Greece and Australia share opposite seasons. A long-held goal of the Greek tourism leadership has been the enhancement of Greece year-round touristic value. An influx from Australia could be just the boost Greek businesses need. Papastergiadis seem to envision a new tourism impetus that could be provided with the help of Greek Australians. I expect the same would hold true for Greek expat groups worldwide, should the incentives be made more apparent.
As for the new EOT president, born and raised in Corfu, Angela Gerekou graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Rome, where she also attended seminars in psychology and sociology.
Ms. Gerekou worked as an architect at the Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, and at a point pursued a career in acting. She is remembered for her starring role in the Greek TV series Magiki Nyhta (1995). Today, she’s married to Greek singer Tolis Voskopoulos and with whom she has a daughter.