Positioned as the top sports tourism event in Greece, with a TV broadcast in 87 countries through the FOX Sports TV network, this year’s Santorini Experience saw a record number of athletes in the event’s running and swimming races – with more than 1500 participations and athletes from 40 countries.
The swim events within Santorini Experience come under the auspices of the Hellenic Swimming Federation (for the second year in a row) with increasing popularity with overseas swimmers, and for amateur and professional athletes in Greece. The Santorini Experience running events are co-organized by the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS), which also organises events such as the Athens Marathon.
Athletes from around 40 countries were hosted in Santorini. The organising team note that attendance was high from Australia, the UK, Germany, France, USA, Canada, China, Russia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The organising team added that overseas participants and visitors approached the event mostly in groups this year. This was as a result of a promotion made through a tourism expo in Sweden, a campaign implemented in Germany targeted at the first autumn school holidays and targeted communication strategies in China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the US.
For the first time at a sports event in Greece, Samsung, as the official technology partner, was present with its innovative offerings through the Samsung Galaxy ecosystem. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, combined with the Gear 360 camera and Gear VR, ‘enriched the experience of those attending and watching the event with unique content at 360 degrees.’
Many participating athletes travelled to Santorini Experience with Ryanair, the official airline partner of the event. Ryanair offered the possibility of connecting Athens with the island of Santorini with direct flights from 13 cities abroad. Meanwhile, leading Greek shipping company Blue Star Ferries, as a sponsor of the event, facilitated the ferry transfer by offering a 50% discount on the ferry tickets and vehicles of the participants, assisting the travel of Greek and foreign athletes.
Vikos, for the third consecutive year, offered its natural mineral water to all event participants. Other official supporters included Avance, Aqua Vista Hotels, Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, ???, GoPro, Wyndham Grand Athens and Santorini Boatmen Union.
The hospitality sponsors supporting the event included: Santorini Hoteliers Association, Meltemi Hotels & Resorts, Aqua Vista Hotels, Athina Luxury Suites, Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, Aegean Plaza Hotel, Andronis Concept, Vedema A Luxury Collection Resort Santorini, Canaves Oia, West East Suites, Desiterra Luxury Suites & Villas, 270 Oia’s View, Central Fira Hotel, Memories Hotel, Loizos Stylish Residencies, Fanouris Condo, Monolithia Hotel, Esperas Santorini, Sienna Residencies, Hotel Rivari Santorini, White Pearl Villas, Caldera Collection.
Santorini Experience took place under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization and the Hellenic Swimming Federation with the co-organization of the Municipality of Santorini, DAPPOS and Active Media Group.