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Yiannis Retsos, President Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers

Yiannis Retsos, President, Hellenic Federation of HoteliersPhiloxenia 2013 greeting.

This year’s season proved to be an extremely important and decisive one for Greek tourism. Besides the remarkable growth of key indicators of tourism -arrivals and revenue- that showed the industry’s strength and potential, the overall assessment leaves us with a “legacy” of food for thought, analysis and debate for the future.

As per incoming tourism, the 2013 tourism season demonstrated the dynamic of new markets, revealed new aspects of our traditional markets, “enlightened” interesting changes in trend and upheavals in preferences and products, while it also redefined the relationship between the demand-driven major players with the supply factors.

On the other hand, it helped us identify weaknesses and areas of “thin ice,” which need more attention, should we want to protect our tourism product and infrastructure in the most efficient way.

On the domestic tourism front, this season confirmed our fears of the internal market’s unfavourable position and therefore comprehensive measures and innovative approaches are required.

Specifically for the hotel sector, this year’s season seems to have halted a six-year recession, crisis and heavy losses, but we still need to meet the challenge of effectively addressing the difficulties and problems that hotel businesses continue to face.

We have a large amount of new data from the tourism market and related industries – aviation, cruise, sales and distribution channels, consumer trends etc. – which we should assess and draw the conclusions that will help us all, state and tourism stakeholders, to plan our actions and coordinate our efforts.

I am confident that this year’s Philoxenia will be a catalyst in this process and provide an opportunity for the exchange of views and estimates for the near future, but also for Greek Tourism’s wider horizons.

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