The Municipality of Paros under the patronage of the Nomarchio (Prefecture) of Syros together with the islands of Naxos, Milos and Santorini, was represented at the exhibition area of the Cyclades Islands at the ITB Tourism Exhibition in Berlin from 7-11th March 2007 with the slogan “Greece – explore your senses”. I was sent as an official representative for Paros.
After a short visit by the Minister of Tourism (Mrs Fani Palli-Petralia) and the press delegation, the exhibition began. The first three days were only for tourism professionals, but on the last two days – Saturday and Sunday – the exhibition opened for the general public. India was the featured guest country this time, so there were many events such as ayurveda, yoga, and even a live German-Indian wedding.
Greece’s allocated space was a 2,255 square metre area and both the islands of Naxos and Paros were represented by native German speakers. The greatest interest in our area was for Santorini and for Mykonos which had its own special area near the Greek Tourism Organisation (EOT). Paros offered the visitors a beautiful booklet with high quality photos of the island; other islands had CDs and posters which were popular because they are easy to carry.
It was a great experience for me to represent the Municipality of Paros in my native country and to have the opportunity to inform visitors about details of my beloved island of Paros.
My thanks to the only visitors from Paros: Mrs Angeliki of the Erkyna Travel Agency and Mrs Astrid Theile Papanikolaou from the Paros Philoxenia Hotel, who gave me a short time-out for a break on my five-day 8–hour shift sitting on a high chair!! Astrid also presented me with materials from some of the other kiosks, such as herbs from Crete, which gave me inspiration for some simple things we can do next time to leave visitors with a lasting impression of Paros.