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Vassilis Minaides

Vassilis Minaides, President, Panhellenic Hoteliers AssociationPresident,
Panhellenic Hoteliers Association

Philoxenia 2003 greeting.

Independent of the present pessimistic climate within the tourism sector, mostly because this is the third consecutive year we’ve seen a drop in foreign arrivals and the price of our product, the prospects for tourism remain good. Our country remains an internationally recognized tourism destination and a safe haven of the Southeast Mediterranean. And it remains a destination with an unrivaled natural and human environment complete with a rich cultural heritage and satisfactory infrastructure.

Even though government policy of past decades created unacceptable delays for business activities and the modernization of public infrastructure, this country managed to develop a dynamic tourism sector.

The present crisis hopefully will force government to understand that it cannot make decisions that burden the operational costs of hotel enterprises knowing they can no longer be passed on to the consumer or be absorbed through a tax monetary policy. On the contrary, government must more forward with tax breaks, a drop in insurance payments (health and pension) and the obliteration of all bureaucratic methods that create obstacles to business activities without any noticeable benefit to the people.

To the degree that political leaders and the public sector live up to the challenges of the economic correctness imposed in the after-monetary-union era, the demands for the successful organization of the 2004 Olympic Games, and the quick absorption of funds from the Third Community Support Framework package, it is certain that Greek tourism will continue to develop as in the past and that our sector will continue as the country’s most important economic branch of development.

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