The total effect on the economy from tourism spending in Greece was estimated at 34.4 billion euros or 15.1 percent of GDP in 2010, according to a recently published report of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE). This fact clearly displays the critical importance of Tourism for the entire Greek economy.
Moreover, it is significant that despite the unprecedented economic crisis our country is currently experiencing, the systematic defamation it has suffered, and the economic collapse of most economy sectors, Greek Tourism in 2012 managed to cope with minimum losses and reach the target of 16 million international arrivals and 10 billion euros of direct revenue.
This proves that Tourism is the most powerful and rapidly growing economic sector of the country.
However, the current model of tourism development is obsolete.
In this context, the Greek State, stakeholders and tourism professionals must make a joint effort and differentiate the country’s model of tourism development and combine it with other features and in accordance to the preferences of modern tourists.
Alternative forms of tourism that offer experience and knowledge are the answer to the new model of tourism development.
Within this concept, the 45,000 Greek tourism enterprises of our sector that support the local economy and regional development and help prevent rural depopulation have a meaningful and active role.
On the occasion of the 28th Philoxenia international tourism exhibition, I would like to express my hope that next year will be the beginning of a new page for our tourism, one with encouraging and promising results for all tourism enterprises of the country.