Members of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises say the initial indications for 2005 do not justify any special optimism and that unless the government speeds up its promised tourism projects, Greece will not be able to take advantage of the successful holding of the Olympic Games.
Stavros Andreadis, the association’s president, said during the annual year-end press call and holiday reception of the association that 2004 closed with a 6% drop in tourism arrivals, when compared with the year before. He added, however, that the arrival figures for both years are provisional as government has yet to adopt the World Tourism Organization‘s preferred satellite account method of gathering and stating tourism data.
He said that Greece must speed up its quality improvement (with a particular emphasis on regional airports, sea ports, road networks, etc.) and communication programs as well as its advertising and promotion campaigns in order to compete. He reminded that over the past three years the euro has appreciated by some 48% against the dollar, which makes countries outside the European Union much more economical for travelers.
Cooperation between the private and public sectors, he said, have reached a satisfactory level with regards to contact and communication. “We now feel it is time to seek results and this requires decisiveness, coordination and flexibility on the part of the public sector, and definite and clear views on the part of the private sector,” he said.