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Greece's latest tourism industry news by Greek Travel Pages (gtp)

Tourism Sector Underdeveloped

Greece’s tourism sector causes losses some one billion dollars a year to the country’s economy because of underdeveloped tourism activities, according to a recent study by the Tourism Research and Forecast Institute.

It says the government is mostly to blame as it does not choose correct development practices nor does it promote the sector.

The institute believes government should be spending between $30 million and $40 million annually for tourism advertising and promotion.

It also says the present negative tourism situation could be easily reversed if the government wants it to be because of the strong comparative advantages of the country, not least of which is the many infrastructure works taking place throughout the country.

Meanwhile, recent statistics from the Attica Hoteliers Association shows a major drop in occupancy rates due to an increase in available rooms in the Athens area. The association says deluxe hotel units in the area have seen a 32% drop in occupancy while hotels in other categories saw their overnights drop by some 11%.

Reasons for the drop, except for the many new rooms placed on the market after major hotels completed expansion and renovation programs, include the refusal of governmental quarters to promote and advertise destination Greece, and its overall weakness to take advantage of the upcoming Olympic Games, says the association.

As well, domestic tourism was not much help this year. According to consumer protection groups, more than 40% of Greeks did not and will not take a vacation this year.

Of those that planned a vacation, some 79% of the total headed for beach properties, while 17% headed for the mountains. The main reason for the drop in vacations, according to the consumer groups, is the high cost of living.

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