Backbone | This is Athens


A high-end digital website to strengthen Athens’ brand

Solutions Web Application
This is Athens Logo

This is Athens is the official visitors’ guide to the City of Athens. It is an initiative that is part of This is Athens + Partners, a consortium of key stakeholders in the Athens travel and tourism industry. Their mission was to create a unified Athens brand that captures the city’s true identity and authenticity.

Client Goals

The City of Athens Development and Destination Management Agency wanted to create a digital portal that communicates Athens’ identity and strengthens its global position as a dynamic destination. 

The goal was to develop a platform that gathers information and opportunities in order to promote the capital as an attractive destination for year-round leisure and business travelers.

Client Goals
Opportunities & Challenges

Opportunities & Challenges

Backbone was tasked with the challenge of building a digital travel guide with a mobile optimized experience for visitors on-the-go with high-end design in order to achieve:


  • An attractive design that displays content in a way that guides visitors to discover and explore every aspect of the city they find interesting ahead of or during their visit
  • Showcasing Athens as a business destination that successfully promotes its professional benefits and services for its business travelers
  • Flexibility - an easy multilingual content management system (CMS) that updates content efficiently and can be hand

Our client needed to have a custom CMS that could be easily managed by a group of their own content managers, as well as the diverse team behind This is Athens; this includes the following three separate business units, which were also the inspiration for the structure of this project.


The Visitor’s Guide (VG), the Athens Convention and Visitor Bureau (ACVB), and the Athens With a Local (AWAL). The emphasis is greater on the visitor unit, although the business and the more personalised local side also came into play, while the content is tailored to foreign visitors, professionals and investors. To highlight this separate relationship, and to reflect the tone and personality of each component, we utilized a unique color scheme for each individual unit.

The Strategy

After conducting our initial discovery sessions and workshops, we were able to identify this project’s top priorities and needed functionalities; we mapped out exactly what was needed in order to guarantee a successful digital transformation.


We focused on creating an easy-to-read digital portal that reflects Athens’ identity, as well as an online booking system for both individuals and business travelers. The result being a flawless integrated experience for users ahead of or in the midst of their travels in Athens.

The Strategy

The Solution

BACKBONE created a top-notch, beautiful and efficient digital experience for This is Athens’ portal visitors. We prepared a scalable, custom solution for every aspect of the project which included:

full 3

A Visitors Guide

Athens is a metropolitan center with unique urban and natural features. By conducting extensive research around the preferences of tourists, and with the assistance of ADDMA, we were able to highlight what appeals to visitors of Athens the most. 


  • Custom CMS. Our content management team created the various locations, and added the required information into the CMS. Places was the core concept behind how the flexible project management system was built. 
  • Interactive city ​​guide. This bridges the gap between an editorial portal and a catalog of sites of interest.


The Visitor Guide was designed as an editorial website, which people can visit to read interesting articles about the city of Athens. Along with the photography and text that accompanies the articles, the emphasis is on being able to identify places within the city. 

Athens Convention and Visitor Bureau

Athens Convention and Visitor Bureau

For the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau component, we focused on the presentation of the services and benefits offered to business professionals. We took an approach to ensure that the ACVB partners got great visibility with a:


  • Meeting Planner that features a functional and attractive display. We built this organizational tool to integrate the client’s custom CRM and to make key information appear onto the website seamlessly. The tool showcases all ACVB partners to professionals who have the desire to organize a conference or event in the Greek capital.

Athens with a local

Athens with a Local gives visitors the opportunity to experience Athens from a more local point of view. Authentic experience was prioritized both in the creation of content for the walks, as well as in the formation of a community of Athenians, members of whom are local volunteers. Users can browse the walks, select one, learn more about it, send in a request and choose a local guide.


As far as the locals are concerned, there is a separate dashboard that enables them to create a profile, accept requests for walks from visitors, and engage with the rest of the community.

Athens with a local

The Result

The website was search engine optimized and built with a responsive design to cater to all devices in an effort to address the requirement to provide great content to users who are on the go.

The website’s overall traffic increased by 80%. The increase in organic traffic was 104%, while its increase in mobile traffic was 79%.

The portal was successful in promoting Athens as a great place to visit, work, and invest in by enhancing the identity of the This is Athens brand. BACKBONE was successful in showcasing the city as a destination by coordinating all the different agencies; the result is a personalized and unified experience for all of the city’s visitors.

Next project

This is Athens is now a Digital Company. Wanna make the switch?