Do we have the makings of a Greek tragedy? Here we have a popular and unique destination that runs through all the considerations that we face as corporate event planners…
Greece is in trouble. But she’s not alone by any stretch, but how does the reality match up with the near meltdown scenario painted by the media?
Would we Operate in London?
Incentive travel and meeting planners are, by nature inherently wary. Anything that adds unplanned risk to an event removes that destination, or venue, from the short-list immediately. But here we’re not talking about conflict, health alerts, natural disasters, sudden currency revaluations or other delegate threatening situations. Ok, they’ve had public upsets, mainly in Athens, but on that score so has London and the media’s portrayal of a ‘capital ablaze’ was way off the mark, even for the week involved.
The Greek situation is essentially one of basic economics – borrowing and Eurozone rigidity are the root of their ills. But, where there is a drop off in demand, there is also opportunity. Prices have fallen in many areas by up to 40%, however, consider the following:
- All the major hotels and event infrastructure still exist, and I suspect will continue to do so
- There is still great access from all over the UK
- The uniqueness of Greece in terms of culture and climate is exactly the same
- Activity options are unchanged
- There is more to Greece than just Athens
Greece or Birmingham – What’s Your Preference?
As a result of economic changes, Greece is now better value at the moment than many places in the UK. If you’ve got the time then there can be some great events designed that represent fantastic value. In the past I have had some fantastic times away from Athens, delivering unique incentive and conference events, and working with partners as professional as any in the business. Some particular favourites are:
- Elounda Mare in Crete
- Rodos Palace in Rhodes
- The Astir Palace at Vouliagmeni
- And in Athens, the Hotel Grande Bretagne
Where is the Greek Risk?
So, is the reality of events in Greece at the moment one of known risk or perceived risk? The one risk I can think of is the risk to service - the risk of a restaurant, a coach company or an entertainment partner closing. This is real, however, in a perverse sense, the risk may be less and given the oversupply and capacity in the service market at the moment, then solutions are more easily found than in markets where demand is sky high.
At a top level then, we do have a literal Greek tragedy playing out in front of our eyes, but I do hope that this has a happy ending, as Greece has delivered so much in the past and can do so again in the future.