In a letter addressed to Tourism Minister Kostas Markopoulos, the President of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Konstantinos Michalos, called for the tourism ministry to abandon its plans to convert the hotel chamber into a tourism chamber.
According to Mr. Michalos, the decision to incorporate all tourism enterprises that are authorized by the Greek National Tourism Organization into a newly established (tourism) chamber would not solve any of the sector’s critical problems.
“The decision was announced without any prior dialogue with stakeholders and expert bodies,” he stressed.
Moreover, Mr. Michalos expressed his concerns that such an action would weaken the commerce chambers that currently oversee tourism enterprises through specific departments and warned that the creation of a tourism chamber would only cause additional bureaucracy.
“In the broadest sense all tourism businesses are trade enterprises and the effort to detach them from the commerce and industry chambers is in the least unacceptable if not aimed to the deterioration of the chambers,” the president said.
He added that Greece’s tourism industry does not need another chamber but a better performance from the side of the tourism ministry and the GNTO.
“Your role should be to strengthen the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product and examine the market,” he said.
In addition, Mr. Michalos said that no other country operates a tourism chamber and called on to the ministry to show support to the tourism departments that already exist within the chambers.