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Tourism is a Necessity of Body and Soul, not a Luxury

15 July 2010 / 16:07:26  GRReporter
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Dimitris Melikokis is founder and president of the tourist company Meli Tours, based in Thessaloniki with offices in Athens, Chalkidiki peninsula and Sofia. He tells us about the advantages of the Mediterranean tourism and the activity of his company as a whole. In crisis or not, tourism remains one of the strongest sectors of the Greek economy. So, we can peer into the secrets of the successful business through the eyes of Dimitris Melikokis. His philosophy revolves around the idea that we need to rest and visit as much as possible different places around the world in order to be productive. This is the foundation of his own business. It has all started with a small tourist office in Thessaloniki, which has grown today into a successful company with over 30 permanent and between 40 and 50 seasonal employees and annual turnover of € 15 million.  

Tell us more about your business and how it has evolved over the years? What are the benefits of the Business-To-Business services in Greece?   

Meli Tours is on the tourist market in Europe and especially in the Balkans for 25 years. Years of experience have taught us to be open to the world and the new opportunities. Our activity is based on mixture of personal contact with customers and high technologies. The combination of both approaches offers a wider range of opportunities for development of activities, exchange of ideas and experiences. We have invested much time and money in IT and Internet services so that every partner can have immediate access to our database, which offers the best prices of the business-to-business services and Internet bookings. Everybody is enabled to see and feel the spirit of our destinations looking at the open positions and  excursions in the tourist sites online in real time, and to book the best offer at the best price.  

The main advantage of business-to-business to the end-user, actually, is the opportunity to pay the best price for the desired tourist product.

How much the Halkidiki peninsula has changed for 20 years according to you?

As you know, everything changes, but somehow everything remains the same too. Things largely go over again and again. Of course, there are more tourist sites, more services of higher level are offered, but, otherwise, the nature and beauty of the area remain as they have always been – the pure waters of the Aegean Sea, the beautiful beaches, the coolness of parks around the sites and the summer sun are the main wealth around which we develop everything else. Infrastructure, new technologies and communications only make them more accessible.

When did you enter the Bulgarian market and what, do you think, are its advantages?

Meli Tours opened its Bulgarian office 15 years ago The interest of Bulgarian tourists to northern Greece is strong so this was the natural expansion of our business.

One of the activities of Meli Tours is the real estate trade. Where would you advise your customers to invest today?

Now is the time to invest in real estate in Greece. The conditions are favourable for good investments that would result in higher returns in the future. There are many different opportunities for investments in northern Greece and Thessaloniki and the Halkidiki peninsula are a good choice for this.

Tell us more about northern Greece as a tourist destination?

Here a tourist or a visitor can find everything he or she may wish to see. Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki sleeves offer from the noise and fun of the nightlife to the peace and seclusion for complete relaxation of body and mind. Northern Greece also offers opportunities to learn about religious tourism in Mount Athos, culinary tourism, especially fish delicacies of Halkidiki, or to view some of the ancient historical treasures of these lands. There is something for everyone.

Do you think there still are undiscovered pristine places in northern Greece, which could attract tourists?

Halkidiki peninsula is still a mysterious paradise. There are many untouched places which we can enjoy and admire for their natural beauty. There always are new ideas and projects that we develop in compliance with the environment.

Do you think the increasing number of tourists in the region may have a negative impact?

We can always find the positive and negative sides of such situations. Development of each area inevitably implies change of the environment to a large extent, development of activities and infrastructure in general. The development usually implies new flows of people from different nationalities and cultures, which certainly gives a new type of diversity to the area. The truth is that the higher the number of visitors, the more competitive prices we can offer. The advantage of the Halkidiki region in this case is that here we can see both - very well developed tourist destinations of high-level infrastructure and service as well as pristine areas that have remained intact over the years and bear the traditions of millennial Greece.

Tags: CompaniesNorthern Greece
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