From the beginning of its establishment, SETE has developed a strong presence and activity in European and international tourism events, through its work with leading tourism agencies abroad. The Association participates in international meetings, councils and committees, representing the Greek tourism.

United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

During March 2012, SETE was elected Chairman of the Board of Affiliate Members, under the new voting procedure which involved the sum of the Affiliate Members. The term of office was two years.

Affiliate Members are approximately 500 tourism organizations, businesses and universities from 80 countries with more than 1 million workers, while 1 in 5 members operates in all 5 continents. Affiliate Members’ primary goals are to promote cooperation between the public and private sectors for support the development of tourism and the creation / dissemination of expertise in tourism issues.

The UNWTO is the official tourism Body (specialized agency) of the United Nations

European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

During 2012, SETE presented in Brussels the idea of the development of a tourism network, within the EESC Committee. The specific network should attempt interventions on issues such as issuing visa, taxation, transport, education, employment, environment, etc.

Additionally, the Association submitted a study proposal that would assess the benefits accumulated by the EU Nordic from the tourism activities in southern EU countries. Given that tourism creates and supports a robust economic activity among South - North and vice versa, through the flow of tourists to the South and in the demand for capital goods to the North, the results of the study will be particularly useful in further development of tourism within the EU

Organization of Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD)

SETE participates to the Tourism Commission of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as a member of the Greek delegation. The OECD monitors the macroeconomic variables of tourism, but also makes policy recommendations, which, probably, like in the case of the EU, influence or shape developmental and financial programs.

SETE’s main international activities over the last years are summarized below:



  • Participated in the German-Hellenic Tourism Forum in Berlin at the Reichstag (Bundestag).
  • Held a press conference for international media correspondents, presenting Greek tourism actions towards 2020 and specific initiatives to enhance the confidence of the international tourism market in Greece.
  • Collaborated with the largest Tour Operators in Germany (TUI, 1-2 Fly, Thomas Cook, Neckermann Reisen, ITS and Jahn Reisen) and the Federal Association of the German Tourism (BTW) to improve the climate between Greece and Germany.
  • Organized fam trips for German and British journalists, following the campaign "Give Greece a Chance", for altering the negative image of Greece in the international media.
  • Generated contacts with ambassadors of foreign countries in Greece (Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and China).
  • Participated, as keynote speaker, at the International Conference on Tourism "The impact of the international crisis and the austerity in the tourism sector" in Braga, Portugal, organized by the Portuguese Catholic University.
  • Held a suggestion during the UNWTO Commission for Europe on the importance of facilitating visa procedures for the competitiveness of global tourism.
  • Hosted a Pan-Chinese mission of the Chinese Journalists’ Union.
  • Stepped in Thomson and First Choice announcements about emergency plans (contracts in drachmas).
  • Presented the study "Greek Tourism 2020: Proposal for new development model" during the visit and the meeting of the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament in Crete at the initiative of the MEP, Mr. S. Danelli.
  • PArticipated as keynote speaker at the launch of the Circle "Friends of Greece" (MEPs from different EU Member States to act as ambassadors to help Greece out of the crisis), at the initiative of the MEP, Mr. G. Hatzimarkakis .
  • Participated as a speaker at the Hotel Investment Conference Europe, held in London.



» SETE assisted Greek MEPs – members of the European Parliament’s working group, in their proposal relating to the European Commission’s communication entitled “Europe, the world's No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe”, which resulted in the adoption of the first report on European tourism.

» SETE submitted a proposal to the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, regarding the European Heritage Label, asking the EU to take all necessary measures to ensure uninterrupted access to sites bearing this label.

» SETE met with a delegation of the German Bundestag’s Tourism Committee, to discuss, among other things, the growth prospects of the German tourism market.

» SETE hosted a working dinner for members of the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association (WHIA), in view of reinforcing the bonds of friendship and cooperation with the Greek Diaspora, during which current affairs in tourism were discussed and views were exchanged regarding the contribution of the Greek Diaspora to improving Greece's image abroad.

» SETE met with a High Level Mission of the International Labour Organization, within the framework of contacts with social partners in Greece. Issues regarding international labour agreements and the impact of austerity measures in Greece on the application of the agreements were discussed during the meeting.

» SETE was invited as an official speaker at the international conference entitled “Tourism as an inducer of development, social inclusion and regional integration”, jointly organized in November 2011 at Fortaleza by the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Banco do Nordeste (BNB) and the World Tourism Organization. The subject of SETE's presentation concerned the promotion of tourism within the framework of sports mega-events, with reference to cooperation between the public and the private sector during and after the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

» Within the framework of its ongoing interventions regarding the liberalization of cruise shipping in Greece, SETE developed cooperation with the European Cruise Council and organized joint interventions at the EU and at national level.


» In cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism / EOT and following an initiative of the MEP for the FDP party (Germany), Mr George Chatzimarkakis, SETE contributed to the promotion of Greek tourism through the German newspaper BILD. Members of the Association offered a total of more than 100 weeks of holidays to the 200 lucky readers who won in the Greek-themed competition organized by the newspaper. The offer included air transportation, transfers, as well as accommodation in 4* and 5* hotels in Crete, Chalkidiki, Corfu, Kos, Rhodes, Samos and Loutraki.

» SETE contributed to the organization of familiarization trips by EOT and its Members offered free accommodation and transfer for journalists and tour operators from Germany, Britain, Russia and China, in view of improving Greece’s image abroad.


SETE continued to participate actively in international tourism events, mainly within the framework of its membership of the UNWTO Business Council. During the 18th General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 3 - 6 November 2009 in Astana – Kazahkstan, SETE was re-elected to the Vice-presidency of the Committee of Affiliate Members and to the Presidency of the UNWTO Business Council.

SETE also participated, either as a speaker or as a delegate, in the following:

  • International Tourism Stats Conference, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Indonesia, 30.03 – 05.04.09
  • Global Tourism & Travel Summit, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Brazil, 14 – 17.05.09
  • Workshop entitled “Tourism: from the traditional model to innovation”, Commercial Section of the French Embassy, Athens 22.06.09
  • Symposium on Tourism & Travel in the Green Economy, European Travel Commission (ETC), UNWTO and VisitSweden, Göteborg - Sweden, 14 - 15.09.09
  • International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, Bournemouth University annual WTM forum themed: Tourism Frontiers 3030, WTM 2009, London, 12.11.09


SETE was an official invited speaker at the following events:

  • 4th International Conference: Destination Management and Marketing: “Two Strategic Tools to Ensure Quality Tourism”, UNWTO, Bordeaux, 16 – 17.09.08
  • World Travel Market, Tourism Society, on: The Olympic Games and Tourism, London, 10.11.08
  • UNWTO Regional Conference for the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries on Climate Solutions for the Tourism Industry, Sharm el Sheikh, 23-24.11.08


During the 17th General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 23-29 November 2007 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, SETE and the Australian Tourism Task Force were jointly appointed to the Presidency of the UNWTO Business Council. SETE's appointment to the Presidency followed the Association’s term as a Member of the Vice-presidency (1997-2007).