The Hellenic Chamber of Hotel‘s annual awards were recently handed out at a ceremony presided over by Tourism Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos. The awards honored members of the tourism and travel industry for their achievements in various categories.
In his opening speech, the president of the chamber, Gerasimos Fokas, stressed the hotel sector “is the most organized in Greek tourism,” but, “Greek tourism requires a new strategy, a new contract among state, tourism bodies and business enterprises, with social and environmental characteristics, long-term scope, precise targets and even more precise rules and prerequisites that must be adhered to by all parties.”
Mr. Fokas further explained that tourism enterprises must “show their interest towards respect to the environment, legality, quality of services provided and support for instances of inequality towards specific groups and regions.” He concluded that insofar as corporate social responsibility is concerned, “the tourism sector has not yet fully grasped this principle, with few notable exceptions.”
Mr. Spiliotopoulos, in his address, referred to recent statistics for 2007 that indicate a six percent increase in arrivals and just three percent increase in tourism revenue, and stressed this means “quality in tourism must be a basic priority for all.” He announced the tourism development ministry would also prioritize the need for the creation of higher education facility for tourism since, he explained, “It is unacceptable for a well established tourism destination to allow its student population to migrate to northern Europe so as to be educated in tourism.” He concluded, “The tourism development ministry places great emphasis on the means to improve quality and credibility in tourism services.”
The ceremony was a triumph for many members of the tourism industry. Former tourism development minister and current minister of health and social solidarity, Dimitris Avramopoulos, was honored with the “Mega 2007 Award.”
The German Archeological Institute in Athens was honored for its cultural contribution, and Grecotel Olympia Riviera Resort was awarded as the most complete tourism facility. Amphitryon Hotel won the “City Hotel” category, Aldemar Olympian Village the award for “Holiday Hotel With Innovative Services”, Mystique won the “Art and Design Hotel” category and Castello Di Haria I & II for “Traditional Accommodation.” Maris Hotels was awarded as “Most Environmentally Friendly” and Hellenic Seaways as “Best Tourism Enterprise.”