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SETE’s 2009 Overview Not A Pretty Picture

Greek tourism seems to be headed in the same direction it always has, the president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Nikos Angelopoulos, said last month while addressing Greek journalists at the association’s 2009 overview.

According to Mr. Angelopoulos, the first priority for the survival of Greek tourism is to solve the liquidity problems of tourism enterprises.

SETE President Nikos Angelopoulos

SETE President Nikos Angelopoulos

He said that the issue could be addressed directly if tourism enterprises received financial support from banks in the form of government bonds.

SETE’s president also underlined the fact that many tourism businesses were still owed the subsidies from the Greek Development Law while other enterprises are in trouble due to delayed VAT refunds. (The subsidies owed to tourism enterprises amount to some 350 million euros just for 2009.)

SETE’s president also referred to the necessary expansion of the 14 tourism protection measures that were announced by the previous government in December 2008 and stressed the need for other sectors of tourism to benefit from them (tour operators and marine tourism enterprises).

“This could take place in a period when several European Union countries are reducing the VAT such as France, Germany and Cyprus,” he said.

Mr. Angelopoulos also underlined the “targeted promotion of Greek tourism” as a second priority.

At this point, he highlighted the fact that a GNTO President still has not been elected, which, of itself, results in major problems in decision-making on crucial issues.

On his part, President of the Hellenic Hotel Federation Andreas Andreadis said that another major problem is the lack of coordination among ministries jointly involved in tourism.

“But coordination is difficult as our sector is left with half of a ministry,” he said in reference to the merging of the culture and tourism ministries.

“The inclusion of tourism in a ministry along with culture and sport simply proves that the state continues to have a reduced interest for tourism,” Mr. Angelopoulos concluded.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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