Messinia, despite many crucial factors working for it (stability, relative ease of access, good scenery and weather, currency) , was until recently a sleepy Greek province. This is ready to change, if it hasn’t already with the arrival of Costa Navarino. Costa Navarino is a Starwood alliance / Westin branded group of concept hotels. The goal behind this investment / development is clear: create a premium tourist destination, with global appeal, in southern mainland Greece.

As aforementioned the destination already has a few things working for it. However its brand image is lacking as well as its domestic and international exposure is very limited, as for the past twenty years, locals were mostly focusing on implementing Athenian trends and in reality just being a province, than investing in innovation and creating their own personal and collective brands.

The newcomers amongst all the things that they bring is a strong international network of PR and massive amounts of experience in branding and “selling” premium tourist destinations. I have been in a few flights since last May (Scandinavian, Swiss, Aegean, Olympic), and in every single in-flight magazine there was at least a reference in Costa Navarino.

During my last flight, in the otherwise dense as fuck Blue magazine (Aegean Air) I witnessed more than 30 pages dedicated to Costa Navarino. Of course this is a somehow special case, because of shareholders’ shared interests, however it remains that end users would still get tο view the content.

Achileas Konstantakopoulos at Costa Navarino

Having spent a lot of time in these areas, I’ve heard the locals hopes of bussiness regeneration. Truth is that unless they do something about it ( improve quality of offered services, innovate, work on branding, pricing etc) this is not going to happen, as the recently built resorts are a destination in their own right. In a few words, it is not the area that is being promoted, but the Costa Navarino development. See below a screenshot from Google Trends as proof.

messinia vs costa navarino search volume, google trends

Good side for them is that these days domestic and international media is now aware of the region’s possibilities and that brings local businesses one stop closer to fulfilling their potential. It is only up to them to prove that they deserve their luck.