We're all too aware that Greece is having a bit of a rough go. If you're like me, you don't only empathize with the Greek people, but also feel a bit of helplessness - for what can you do to change the economic situation of an entire country?
Well, my buddy Yorgos didn't want to stand around while his homeland choked for air. He co-founded Up Greek Tourism, an organization of volunteers like himself dedicated to driving Greek tourism in their spare time.
They used Loudsauce - a media crowdfunding platform founded by another buddy of mine, Colin Mutchler, to get the message out.
Together, they've funded a billboard in New York's Times Square. The digital mosaic promoting Greece was designed by Charis Tsevis and has already been successful. According to Yorgos: "Petros Zisimos, a Greek-American travel agent based in Times Square came to meet us to tell us about the effect of our billboard to his business! A young couple planning their honeymoon saw it this morning and were like 'Hey...let's go to Greece!' No package deals, no special prices, just a reminder of our beautiful country!"
I'm so proud of Yorgos (and Colin for providing the technology) that I felt compelled to share this with my network. The story underscored for me the characteristic I most associate with the Greek people: their unfaltering pride in their beautiful country.
If you're in the process of planning a holiday this year, might I suggest you consider Greece? I am.
Some more articles about the billboard campaign and resources: