Opentourism: An initiative for tourism with a fresh look at the Land of Myths

Article published on Jan. 25, 2011
community published
Article published on Jan. 25, 2011
"The culture of Greece is not about a country's culture but the very foundation of civilization!" Pedro Olalla (Instead of introduction): Among “babel” friends, we have a principle, but we "serve" it politely: "It is worth trying to see the world from the eyes of another.
" This is exactly what I felt watching Markus Stolz and Pedro Olalla Thursday afternoon at the sixth Opentourism, where I had the opportunity to listen, feel and travel to a slightly different Greece.

A mental journey into the Land of Myths and aromas of Greek wines, which reminded me ... the particularity of the Greek case.

open_tourism.jpgOpentourism is an "institutional" gathering, once a month, between people who love and work in the wider tourism sector, in order to meet, co-operate or create synergies for a quality Greek tourism.

During the last meeting, the speakers were two people that do not originate from Greece, but they live in Greece and promote Hellenism and the Greek tourism around the world.

Here they are! Markus Stolz and Pedro Olalla!

Markus is a German, living several years in Greece and through his website he promotes Greek wines and Greek gastronomy all over the world.

markus1.jpgReading his "life story" and listening him speaking about the "Old School" of thinking, the need to become aware of the potential of Greek wines and the development of Greek entrepreneurship, I instantly rejected any thoughts of escaping from Greece, as well as all articles and publications describing -and possibly strengthening- the phenomenon of “brain drain” from Greece and other countries of the South ..

O Markus on Facebook

markus2.jpgMarkus Stolz, spoke about the power of social networks (twitter, facebook etc) and the radical change that bring in communication and in the business world. He strongly encourages the openness as well as the engagement of wine producers and companies of Greek wines in new ways of communication, emphasizing the dynamics of the messages like tweets, in today's business world. To highlight this momentum, he used the acronym REAL - Refreshing, Engage, Authentic, Listen.

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Markus has just returned from a business trip to New York where he had several meetings with wine importers, sommeliers, owners of wine bar, and professionals in the wine world. The main reason for visiting New York was a call from Gary Vaynerchuk Wine & Web live radio show to talk about Greek wines and his passion about them.

Gary Vaynerchuk might currently be the most influential wine person on a global basis.

During the show, Markus spoke about Greek wines and his passion for them.

He had also been a guest on Gary Vaynerchuk ‘s famous Wine Library TV show and NY Wine Salon interviewed him. The interview is here.

His website is a hub for producers, merchants, and consumers, offering an inside view into the world of Greek wines. The name elloinos is derived from the Greek words ellinas and oinos, which translate into Greek and wine.

Wine producers, importers, wine merchants! YOU NEED HIM!

For the record, Markus Stolz has served as an Executive Director of Goldman Sachs in London and since his 20ies, he has been a keen connoisseur of the derivatives market ...back in those days in Frankfurt. Until one day, for some mysterious reason, the muse whispered him a mission ... that Greek wines need him more than financial nuclear weapons, while, in return they promise him a life full of flavors, aromas and a continuous hunting of varieties and quality.

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Important Notice: you can also find posts on how everyday life in Greece really is.

According to Markus Stolz, “the Greek culture is furthest away from all other original EU states. But once I began understanding and identifying with it, my life became much more interesting than it had ever been before.”

Oups! I got drunk! I wish I don’t get sober ...

The entire speech of Markus at Opentourism here.

Pedro Olalla

How about a man who declares that: “Anyone who has even once rebelled in his life and has loved, can’t feel a stranger to Greece!

1_OLALLA_format_for_printing.jpgPedro Olalla González de la Vega is a Spanish writer, Hellenist, Professor, translator and photographer, while he states his philhellene title on his business card. He has published books on Greece, about mythology, geography and culture.

Books such as The Mythological Atlas of Greece, a book for the places of legends and for their sake, he occasionaly takes the streets, mountains and glens (has traveled over one hundred thousand kilometers in Greece).

1-ATLAS-format-for-printing.jpg He is also a founding member and director of the International Society for Arcadia, an international company for the study of the global Arcadian acquis.

In his speech, Pedro talked about his books around the Greek culture, but mainly he presented the country in his eyes: "In Greece, no one can feel a stranger! The culture of Greece is a country's culture but the very foundation of civilization! "

He compared the Greek landscape with the rest of Europe and insisted in what he believes to be a treasure: authenticity.

3-OLALLA-format-for-printin.jpg "The European landscape has been mangled. Greece faces a major challenge: to save the magic .. Greece has to look for tourism that requires learning, evaluation of colors and not to transform the landscape into an immense grotesque park. Here everything has been always treated divine ... "

He sees the recent national crisis as an economic attack. "The most difficult behavior to keep as Greeks? The responsibility of each of us, to realize our part of responsibility."

"Greece is an ongoing battle in favor of human, that characterizes Greece in all seasons .... The peculiarity of the Greek case."

Check Pedro Olalla’s website.

I will just cite a question made by the public for both speakers: "If you would ask someone what is Greece in one word?"

Markus: "There is no one word .. it comes from the HEART ..."