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Author Victoria Hislop interested in promoting Greek tourism through film

British best-selling author Victoria Hislop said on Monday that she is hoping to work with the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) to transform some of her short stories into films that will “introduce people to a different side of Greece”.

Hislop, who has written several books based in Greece including the best-selling novel The Island, was a guest of the press conference held by the GNTO at World Travel Market (WTM) London 2018 that is currently running at Excel.

After expressing her admiration for Greece and describing her visit to Serifos, Hislop revealed that she is discussing the possibility of the GNTO sponsoring short films based on her short stories, which are set off the beaten track in locations such as monasteries and small, little-known villages.

The short stories, which are aimed to be filmed next year and should be screened in 2020, are likely to be popular as the final episode of the recent TV adaptation of The Island was watched by 75 percent of viewers in Greece.

World Travel Market 2018, ExCeL London - Greek Press Conference with guest speaker Victoria Hislop - Author“They will take people below the surface and introduce them to another side of Greece, away from the seaside resorts because it would be a shame to visit Greece and see only the beach,” Hislop said.

Considering that one of the drivers behind Greece’s growth in tourist arrivals is the extension of the season – that now starts as early as March and continues until November – Hislop encouraged tourists to visit in spring, which is “the best time to go hiking in Greece and experience the wild flowers, and to visit Athens and Thessaloniki in the winter, when the heat is less oppressive”

According to Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura, the aim to establish Greece as a 365- day destination is now becoming a reality.

The minister said Greece’s tourism industry had “performed a small miracle” for the Greek economy, which has grown 2.1 percent this year and is expected to grow a further 2.5 percent in 2019, its highest rate of growth for 10 years.

Tourism accounts for 20 percent of Greece’s GDP, contributing 35 billion euros a year to the economy. International visitor spend has already reached 17.1 billion euros this year and further growth is expected before the end of the year.