Greece is in trouble – like we don’t know. It has no jobs. It has no money. It has no plans for the future. Well, at least I don’t think they do since they haven’t had the courtesy to inform me about their plans so I’m in the dark as to what they are trying to do as well as you are. That’s okay, I’m not offended. What they do have is sun and fun… and a lot of history… alot.

How can Greece raise money besides just stop paying all of those pensions? I don’t know. How about selling the rights to manufacture feta? Bottle and trademark Greek attitude? Sell some islands? I think they already did that – how did that work out? Maybe they can trademark the “Na” and every time someone throws it, they get sued by Greece. Look at the International Olympic Committee. They’ll sue a little mom and pop shop for using the Olympic rings on their menu board, but that’s for another article.

But isn’t Greece, like any other nation, in reality a business. In business, one keeps looking at ways to grow the business, keep it fresh, bring back old customers and bring in new customers. Let the world know of your product and what you have to offer. In other words, a business needs to advertise. Whoa… did I just say advertise? Now that’s a new concept for Greece, wouldn’t you say? You say, “you’re joking, Har, right? Wrong. When’s the last time you saw an ad in the States or Canada about Greece travel?

There have been some ads for private companies selling their Greek products, like Fage or Oikos Greek yogurt, but what has the Greek government done to bring people to Greece, except to say, “Hello world, we have sun… we are open… come in and enjoy!” Times have changed. Greece has a great product… sun, beaches, history, food, awe-inspiring sites, but let’s face it, so do other places. I know, that’s sacrilege to say, but ever hear of Hawaii… Italy? Greece needs to beat the competition.

In the summer of 2010, Turkey made a major push for tourism by advertising in New York’s Times Square. They created a video about Turkey and from July 8 to September 1, it appeared on the Sony/News Corporation 30′ x 40′ jumbo screen. Since then I have seen so many ads about traveling to Turkey and visiting, as they say, “our ancient sites.” They forget to mention those ancient sites are really Greek. That’s advertising for you and the Turks did it!

Talking to some Greek friends about this issue, their comment was that Greece doesn’t need to advertise, and they do advertise. When I ask where, they say, “on Antenna and ERT.” You have to be kidding me. You think advertising tourism for Greece on Greek television is advertising? I love my friends but sometimes they just have loukoumades for brains. Who has Antenna and ERT? Mainly people who consider themselves very Greek. Usually, they are the immigrants that need Antenna and ERT to feel the connection with Greece, and that’s fine. But, these Greeks will travel to Greece each and every year. That’s a given. They don’t need advertisements about Greece to travel to Greece.

Who needs advertising about travel to Greece? Two groups.

First group are the first, second, third, or even fourth generation Greeks, who have no real ties to Greece anymore, but they still want to be Greek and see what’s happening, and maybe visit the old homeland. Unfortunately, they don’t have Yiayia and Papou to visit in Greece, or to stay at Thea Marika’s house in the village. Yiayia, Papou, and Thea Marika all live in the States and were born here! If they go, they are staying at the Athens Hilton. These Greeks don’t subscribe to Antenna and ERT and they rely on mainstream American/Canadian advertising outlets like ABC, CNN, Wall Street Journal, and many others.

These Greeks also turn to our good friends at Cosmos Philly since their website caters to all Greeks, including our umpteenth generation Greeks. Hey Ellada, wake up and smell the coffee! Cosmos Philly is the place where advertising money for Greek tourism should be spent. It’s the wave of the future.

The second group? Easy. Our non-Greek friends. That’s 99.99% of the rest of world. There are 7.046 billion people in the world. Out of that amount, a little less than 1 billion are in developed countries. 1 billion potential tourists! (Okay, don’t write stupid replies. I know 1 billion people may not be able to afford a trip to Greece… I’m making a point here).

It is estimated that 17.9 million people visited Greece in 2013 and that 18.5 million will visit in 2014. Wow, that sounds like a lot! Whooppdee-do. In 2013, Turkey had more than 37.8 million foreign tourists, ranking as the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world. Spain had 60 million. Thailand had 26.5 million. In fact, of the 10 most visited countries in the world for 2013 the list did not include Greece. Do you get it now? Oh, Greece is on a list. They are #10 on the most visited countries in “Europe, ” behind #9, the Ukraine, who had 24.6 million tourists. Ukraine? The last time I looked at Ukraine there were no sunny beaches or the Acropolis. I guess they counted Putin’s Russian army that stormed the country in that 24.6 million tourists! Okay, Putin said they were only visiting. And if you’re thinking about it, the little Hawaiian islands had 8 million visitors.

If Greece is excited about 18.5 million tourists for this year… they are doomed. The word needs to get out. Greece is exciting, Greece is passionate, Greece is historical, Greece is sunny, Greece is… Greece! Come visit and bring a friend! And how is the word to get out? Advertise! Spend the money and they will come!

Oh, if you’re wondering about the title of this article, Who is Hedylogos? He is the Ancient Greek god of sweet-talk, and isn’t that what advertising is all about?

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