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Gerassimos L. Fokas

Gerassimos L. Fokas, President, Hellenic Chamber of HotelsPresident,
Hellenic Chamber of Hotels

Philoxenia 2006 greeting.

Over the past years, the international tourism market has undergone serious crises, suffered from unforeseen factors and was characterized by dramatic restructuring. Perhaps, a more significant conclusion for this period was confirmation of the system of balances that we call the “globalization of tourism.”

In other words, how a natural disaster in the distant South Pacific ocean, a terrorist attack in a European city or an outbreak of bird flu in the Balkans can affect, positively or negatively, the operation of and even the future of the smallest and most remote hotel in Greece.

It is exactly these unexpected factors and the degree to which they are connected with regional and national authorities, that makes it more urgent than ever before to focus in detail and more intensively on the long-term and current issues that concern tourism and the hotel sector.

This condition, of course, increases the responsibilities and obligation of the state towards the tourism sector, since it can no longer overlook its responsibility for allowing situations to remain stagnant over the last decades, nor can it not consider the views and proposals by authorities in matters that directly or indirectly affect tourism enterprises.

Our responsibilities also increase, as do those of every businessman and employee in tourism, since we must all recognize and respond immediately to the ever changing demands of the current environment, one that is marked by rapid developments and a wildfire pace, and one in which we must successfully operate.

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