Those of you who follow my articles here or in other printed and electronic media of the tourist area know that I deal with the issues concerning the Strategic Communication of the tourist product and not only. For those of you who are reading me for the first time, I think it is easy to understand the spirit, simply because it is not a difficult technocratic approach, but about issues of “common” logic, so common that sometimes we all wonder why we do not think about them when needed for our business. Some will ask here “and then what job would business consultants do?”. So let me explain to you and draw your own conclusions.

(Recently, two exhibitions of tourist interest took place, the Summer Holidays 2011 last month and the 3rd Exhibition of Tourist Destinations in Syntagma on June 7-9, which I visited. I will not comment on how many and who were present or absent, because it has already been commented, but mainly because I have drawn similar conclusions from what you will read from previous reports). The concept of Strategic Communication is admittedly “new” in our country and much more in the field of Greek tourism. As I have written before, in order to understand the attitudes and behaviors of entrepreneurs and institutions, we must distinguish -among other things- the periods of time that we go through each time along with their particular circumstances. Consequently, at least two things used to happen in our case. Whether it was still unknown or little known, or – most importantly I think – the days of prosperity intensely cultivated a sense of security for that present, but also (paradoxically!) For an indefinite future. An easy answer, of course, is that “only the sick will seek the doctor”, but another perspective is the one that emphasizes prevention, which, however, was difficult to coexist with the low index of substantial entrepreneurship of the past in the field of tourism.

Let’s go back to the reports. I toured the venues of both exhibitions many times. In the destination kiosks, the image was common. Brochure distribution, highly impersonal communication with few exceptions, very little audiovisual material for the projected object itself. Of course, this image should not surprise us, because we know it before we go to the exhibitions. The communication of the tourism product is generally very poor, and this is because it has not been understood by a very large part of the business public what we need to highlight. It is not enough to participate in exhibitions under the threat of a bad season if our participation is not part of more general and ongoing communication practice. In recent years, the relevant bodies in all the relevant conferences presented new trends for the promotion of the space, but the reactions were rather lukewarm. I have intervened many times here and elsewhere, emphasizing the importance of both Internet Communication and features such as the identity and locality of the tourism product as criteria for the effective shaping and enhancement of the corporate or local image. The “communication” of the exhibitions is exposed to many uncontrollable factors, such as the type of audience, the time period, the time and mood of the specific audience even in relation to hours of the day, the human resources that staff the stands, and .λπ. Instead, the exhibition should be the place where businesses or local agencies of various tourist destinations “meet” now an audience that has made sure to know in advance their place and its tourist attractions. All those interested should realize that they need to have an “audience” in the broadest sense of the word, that is, to have projected through various “channels” all those elements that make them something much more than known on the map or at least in history books. The choice of destinations and tourism companies is made with a variety of criteria, but it is definitely better to know you more than others and for more good (!) Reasons.

The most common excuse in discussions about this is not so much the lack of money but time. Most argue that they do not have the time – for example – to support a decent online presence. “Others seem to consider it unnecessary, but for different reasons than in the past. Recently, a businessman from Pelion told me that “since people do not have money, what to do with the rest?”. I think that the position I am scientifically and personally advocating has already been understood. Business Communication is an investment in the future, for those businesses of course who want to have a future.

The situation has undoubtedly always played an important role. But the businessman who suffices or – worst of all – believes in the times to build his business future, does not seem to know the art of “business”. I often like to close with a saying. I think this Latin quote is appropriate here: “whoever does not move forward, goes backward”.

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