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

Panagiotis Bamides

Panagiotis Bamides, President, Macedonia-Thrace Travel Agencies AssociationPresident,
Macedonia-Thrace Travel Agencies Association

Philoxenia 2005 greeting.

After some very difficult years, we have finally seen some light at the end of the tunnel, and next year looks like it may be a good year. Nonetheless, the past has shown how important it is for Greece to introduce the ‘satellite accounts’ method for tourism statistics. This would give us the opportunity to accurately imprint the overall contribution of tourism to the national economy and to compare the annual arrival and monetary variations from every geographical region, all of which is vital in tourism planning.

In the end, the basic concern of the tourism leadership must center on analyzing the global market. And this must be followed by a timely interpretation of signs, the systematic and organized promotion of tourism, and on the development of crises management mechanisms.

Meanwhile, we continue to expect a big part of our tourism development in Northern Greece to be closely related to the visitors we’re trying to attract from countries in the wider Balkan and ex-Soviet Union area. However, problems still exist concerning tourism visas, particularly concerning the Schengen agreement, and unless these problems are solved this dynamic and vital market will be lost to us. Countries like Italy, Spain and France have managed to confront the problem and steadily increase arrivals. There is no reason why we can’t do as much and more.

The time-consuming and complex visa procedure dissuades thousands of people from visiting our country and indirectly leads them to competing countries where they’ll spend an average of 1,500 dollars each.

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