I am very pleased to address this important and extremely useful publication of the Greek Travel Pages on the occasion of the 28th Philoxenia, which traditionally enjoys a high level of success commensurate to the importance of Greek Tourism. I am convinced that it will be an excellent opportunity to share our experience and knowledge with the professionals of the tourism industry, an essential process for the development of the sector.
Despite global economic downturn, Greece continues to be a preferred tourism destination because of its extremely beautiful, historical and safe, low-crime, tourist-friendly environment. Tourism performs with great dynamism and strength even in times of crisis. It is a fact that tourism is fundamental to the Greek economy, because it is an important asset for the creation of wealth, employment and ultimately, for our economic recovery.
Greece has no option but to remain optimistic about its tourism evolution and be well prepared for it. In the Ministry of Tourism we are designing a Comprehensive Tourism Plan with the consensus and involvement of all actors, both public and private, in order to create a more favorable environment for the development and consolidation of the tourism sector. Among our strategic aims is the increase of competitiveness by upgrading services, the introduction of incentives to encourage the development of new poles of tourist attraction, extending the tourist season by promoting new forms of tourism, attracting new target markets, strengthening domestic and social tourism and updating the legislative framework governing the tourism sector.
The future of the industry is optimistic and the forecasts favorable. It is our responsibility to avoid the pitfalls by creating a competitive, modern and efficient tourism industry.