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Gigantic Government “Tourism Machine” Planned

Greece’s tourism ministry plans to turn the public end of the tourism sector into a gigantic tourism mechanism with 37 directorates and 72 tourism offices at home and abroad, according to recent reports.

The plan requires the hiring of a plethora of new employees and new offices, all of which means a major increase in government funds for the tourism ministry.

The new directorates include additions within the Hellenic Tourism Organization’s present structure as well as new offices within each of Greece’s tourism regions – the regions lose their tourism authority, which was passed over to them from the tourism organization during the previous government.

Presently, the presidential decree required before the changes are initiated for the new organizational structure of the tourism ministry and the tourism organization is floating somewhere between the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Decentralization and the Hellenic Republic’s General Accounting Office, say the same reports.

Local press says the plan has caused a shock wave within the various government services as the numbers of new employees required is large and the budget required to cover the new staff as well as daily running expenses is gigantic. And this, it says, at a time when government is attempting to cut expenses and cut down on its general number of employees.

Of the 37 directorates planned, 11 concern the tourism development ministry, 12 are to be added to the tourism organization and 14 are to be set up outside the city – one for each of the country’s 14 regions.

The above directorates will end up supporting 52 tourism offices within the country (one for every provincial capital) and 20 tourism offices abroad. However, most of the offices abroad are already set up and running – but the tourism minister has said in the past that he would restructure all present offices.

If finally initiated, the plan would give the tourism sector the biggest public tourism mechanism the country has ever experienced since the setting up of the Hellenic Tourism Organization well over a half a century ago.

But, regardless of the future of the proposed plan of the tourism ministry and the tourism organization, changes are in store for the sector immediately following Greek Easter, which falls on May 1.

Government sources say 18 management positions within the central offices of the tourism organization must be filled immediately and 14 regional management positions must be filled.

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