At the request of the Ministry of Tourism, Google is developing video and audio walks to discover the lesser-known sites and activities of the Greek capital. Athens plans to attract visitors to off-the-beaten-track destinations.
Athens is not just the Parthenon or the Plaka district, which enhances the Acropolis. But that's where the floods of tourists are concentrated. This is the reason for the revival of the project to make travelers discover the other face of the Greek capital, carried out by the Athens City Council in collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Tourism and, this time, with the help of Google tools.
The toolset makes it possible to be guided, thanks to audio comments. More sophisticated than a sound walk, Google takes the decision to immerse users in the daily life of the Athenians. In Omonia Square, you can hear the shouts of joy of Greeks gathered to celebrate the victory of their national team in the 2004 European Championship, the shouting of the food trades in the Kipseli district, or a graffiti artist guiding you through his street art creations.
An immersive journey that fully involves the locals, according to Kostas Bakogiannis, mayor of Athens: "This summer the capital welcomed some 7 million visitors, almost as many as the country's population. But for the tourists to be satisfied, the locals must be satisfied.
After years of economic crisis, when Athens was avoided because of major demonstrations, today life has changed and the Athenians want to show their way of life.
Seven routes can be explored online, "especially as wifi is free in several districts of the capital," adds the mayor, recognizing that it is necessary to improve the functioning of this city where almost half of the country's population lives, "by emphasizing more ecological measures, such as avoiding the use of cars. This safari would thus be a unique opportunity to discover a "living museum city" for Vassilis Kikilias, Minister of Tourism.