IMPROVED communication, clear policing
and closer relationships with suppliers are the key to avoiding the crisis
faced by Faliraki this summer, tourism chiefs have agreed.
Federation of Tour Operators director-general Andy
Cooper and TUI UK head of UK operations Colin McGregor met the Greek National
Tourism Organisation and the British ambassador and consul in Athens last week
to consider improvements following a chain of disgraceful events involving
British tourists this summer and the death of a 17-year-old after a brawl.
Cooper also travelled to Rhodes to meet the mayor of
Faliraki, the chief of police, the local hotel association and local bar
owners’ associations to discuss issues now the season has ended. He said there
was a willingness to reach a solution.
“The behaviour of some customers this summer has
passed the boundaries of acceptability and the problem must be dealt with
appropriately,” he said.
“Everyone is eager to try to prevent future problems.”
Cooper said the strategy could also be transferred to
other problem resorts such as Kavos in Corfu and Malia in Crete. McGregor was
unavailable for comment.
According to the GNTO, 2003 Faliraki figures will be
on a par with last year but operators report bookings for 2004 are down 19%. In
a statement, the tourist board said the push on cheap late holidays following
the Iraq war had compounded the destination’s problems. The statement added
British operators had committed themselves to undertaking initiatives to
improve the resort, attend further meetings and also to send out journalists to
report on the improvements in Faliraki.
GNTO UK and Ireland director Panos Argyros said: “In
future, tour operators have to promote it in a different way, sell it in a
different way and deliver in a different way.”
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