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Tourism Minister Readies Institutional Changes

Greece’s tourism development minister, Fanni Palli-Petralia, says she intends to change the country’s tourism image this year through institutional changes in both the public and private tourism sector.

She says she’ll accomplish the feat through investment incentives and through the creation of new tourism products, both of which will be combined with total support and promotion of our tourism product.

Basically, the minister says she will create new legislation that will confront all the chronic problems that continue to haunt the sector. The legislation will also attempt to include a series of institutional and investment related changes that would take advantage of present conditions, which have been created by the increase in tourism arrivals and the positive outlook for tourism arrival increases again this year.

She says the main objective of the ministry’s program is to differentiate the tourism product and to transform the country into year-round tourism destination through the creation of an overall competitive tourism product.

On the institutional level, she intends to clarify the activities of the ministry and the Hellenic Tourism Organization so as to alleviate overlapping responsibilities.

Her basic aim is to create a single institutional body on the model of “staff ministry and executive Hellenic Tourism Organization.”

As well, a decisive point includes the inter-ministerial activities of the development ministry as these activities play an important role concerning the problems and prospects of sector.

A particular emphasis will be placed on the cooperation between the tourism development ministry and the ministry of environment, physical planning and public works, which covers two of the most important questions that cloud the tourism sector.

On the one side there is the pending urban planning corrections for hotels, and on the other, the creation of an institutional framework for tourism lodgings.

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