By Mary Smith

Up Greek Tourism”, the innovative crowd-funding project for the promotion of Greece as a holiday destination, has begun collecting funds today and will continue until first week of March. Using www.loudsauce.com as its Crowd funding platform individuals from around the world are called upon to donate a small amount of money, to help put up a billboard in New York, inviting Americans to come to Greece. The targeted amount is 15,000 dollars minimum and the billboard will be on display for 30 days, starting mid March to mid April.

The project is a private initiative run on a voluntary basis by all participants. The creators of the idea are Yorgos Kleivokiotis, Onic Palandjian and Stathis Haikalis. George Petrocheilos, the Maryland-based ‘networker’ and President of the Johns Hopkins University Hellenic Association just joined the team as well, as a ‘Northeast America Ambassador’ and a Campaign Adviser. ‘‘Our people in Greece are going through a lot, and it is our obligation to support them in any way possible. One way is getting involved in the ‘Up Greek Tourism’ project’’, Petrocheilos said.

The aim of this project is twofold: First to set up the billboard, but also to create positive word of mouth for Greece’s Tourism. “It’s an advertising campaign, in New York to promote tourism in Greece” says Onic Plalandjian, while Yorgos Kleivokiotis explains “We chose tourism, because it is the heavy industry of Greece. The income of tourism is then widespread around the economy”.

However, “Up Greek Tourism” has also another meaning: to show that in a difficult situation for a country, as it is for Greece, people need to act, to take initiatives and to be creative in finding solutions. As Mr. Palandjian points out, “Governments are trying to find solutions, but we as individuals should not wait, we need to help ourselves. We can all make our difference”, and Stathis Haikalis adds “our team is made of people with day jobs, working on this project on their spare time, to help change the future of their country”.

The amount collected will be handled by loudsauce for the purposes of buying outdoor space for the billboard. If the target amount is not reached, the money pledged will be returned to those contributors. If on the other hand it exceeds expectations, it will be allocated to further promoting activities as for example print advertisement in the New York Times.

To support this project you can make a donation at https://www.loudsauce.com/campaigns/62