Athens, Greece – March 21, 2013 – The outcome from the lively “round table” discussion yesterday was that Athens and Greece are indeed a safe destination for travelers to visit and enjoy their holiday. AHEPA Glyfada chapter HJ-2 hosted the 2-hour discussion at the University of Indianapolis in the Plaka area at the base of the Acropolis. The panel consisted of business and community leaders with the keynote speaker being Mr, George Nikitiades, former deputy Minister of Tourism who presented various facts such as Athens area demonstrations have never caused harm to any tourist and violence is directed to property damage. That the televised scenes although factual are exaggerated in that they are limited to a 3-4 sq. mile area around the Parliament.

The travel and tourism speakers reflected the fact that in Athens safety for tourists is not any different than any other major metropolitan city in the world. Many cities undergo similar demonstrations, riots that subside and local calm, and order return. Furthermore there are hundreds of options available to visitors should there be a public demonstration of any kind that will not affect a travelers vacation to Greece. Utilizing the services of experienced agents is key to a perfect vacation, convention or business trip.

AHEPA HELLAS District Governor Nick Papadopoulos addressing the panel

The panel consisted of distinguished business leaders such as the Athens Hotel Association President Mr. Alexandros Vassilikos, Mr. Stefanos Costopoulos President of Athens chapter of SKAL International Travel Professionals, Mr. Alexandros Costopoulos of Repor Greece, Mr. Nick Kelaiditis from the Hellenic Association of Travel Agents, Mr. Nick Volakos from the suburban municipality of Saronikos. There were also two community leaders Dr. Stergios Katichoritis, PhD Sociology and Security expert, and finally from the American Women’s Organization of Greece – AWOG Mrs. Stacey Papaioannou-Harris. The moderator was the very capable Mrs. Dimitra Katramadou, Journalist with the daily newspaper Kathimerini.

AHEPA Glyfada Pesident Vassilis Petkidis, former deputy Minister George Nikitiades, Mrs. Jenny Diamantis Daughters of Penelope, District Governor Nick Papadopoulos, George Dussias, PDG

The key topics covered were in the areas of 1) Living/Visiting Athens and safety, 2) The economic crisis and impact on travelling in Greece and 3) Greece’s Socio-Economic factors affecting travelling. The questions placed to the panel are actual questions found posted on various website articles and blogs from people wanting to visit Greece. Not seeing any significant marketing campaigns AHEPA Glyfada decided to do its part by inviting the speakers to respond and let the world know. Furthermore, AHEPA’s role in organizing this event is to utilize the vast network of chapters and members available to assist in getting out the message that Athens and Greece is safe. In addition to promote the “AHEPA Journey to Greece” educational program for university level courses and credits for students to spend a summer in Greece. Athens is Safe!