Ambassador Pyatt’s Remarks at Snow Club Greece

Hellenic Club of Recreational Snowsports
Conference on Ski Resorts
November 23, 2018

Good afternoon, I want to start by thanking Petros and Konstantinos for inviting me to participate in your conference by video. I would have loved to be there in person but I’m travelling today. I am a huge fan of Greece’s ski slopes.

I’ve enjoyed skiing from Kalavryta in the South all the way to Kaimaktsalan in the North. I’ve had some amazing days. None of my friends in America can believe me when I talk to them about the Greek mountains because Americans think of Mykonos and Santorini but they forget this is also a very mountainous country. You also have some fantastic cultural sites and beaches nor far from great skiing mountains, whether it is Parnassos and ancient Delphi or Kalavryta and all the history of the Peloponissos.

One of the things I’ve loved about skiing in Greece is the snow.  I am a lifelong skier, and I learned to ski in Southern California. We have a similar kind of heavy, wet snow and in the spring. We call it corn or slushy, but I actually like the Greek phrase of “soupa,” and I’ll take that expression back to the United States with me.

The ski industry like so many others is one that has been transformed by changes in technology and lifestyle.   There have been almost no new ski resorts built to the U.S. since the 80’s. But we see tremendous change in the U.S. in terms on how ski companies are managed, the branding, the growth of big consortium of ski areas and the emphasis of family travel, on multi-season travel.  All things that are relevant to Greece.

I’m very glad to be speaking along with Minister Kountoura.  I agree with her one hundred percent that there is much more that Greece has to offer as a round the year destination, not just the islands.

I’m also very excited about the partnerships in the business area that are emerging between Greece and major American tourism services providers, the expansion of U.S. hotel brands across the country, big new investments and acquisitions like AVIS, and the possibilities for increased direct air flights from the United States. So there is an obvious synergy between the American tourism services industry and Greece.

So I wish a very successful conference, I hope to see some of you out on the slopes this winter. I have already told Governor Bakoyannis that Velouhi is on my list. I very much want to get back to Epirus to Anilio, and I look forward to other recommendations.

So look for me out on the slopes and have a great conference. Γεια σας!