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Gerassimos L. Fokas

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

Philoxenia 2007 greeting.

With reference to the recent catastrophic fires that affected Peloponissos and Evia, as President of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels I would like to send a message and extend an invitation; a challenge to the government and the business tourism community.

Under the burden of the harsh reality that our colleagues face, the need to shape a new common vision in the tourism sector is more imperative today than ever before for the tourism development of the country.

A vision that will be stamped on a new strategic plan of development that will be based on three basic notions -the environment, culture and quality- and envisions daring and innovative action.

The mapping out of new strategy cannot be indicated only by closed circles of study centers and ministries, as we recently experienced with the new zoning plan, but must arise from the infusion with society, the business world and the involved collective institutions, so as to have the consent and acceptance that is required for its successful application.

The reconstruction of the affected areas, with tourism as a means, constitutes a first-class opportunity to move forward in sections with a new model of viable tourism development, which will lend strength to local economies, and support, as a result, other sectors of the economy for sustainable development.

We must not delude ourselves; tourism development must be reconstructed for the whole of Greece and not just the fire-affected regions.

From our side we declare we are ready to play a leading part and invest in a new strategy and we call upon the new tourism development minister to preside over the design and coordination of the reconstruction in the tourism of our country.

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