Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni focused on the importance of tourism for the revival of the Greek economy during her speech at the 17th annual conference of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry on 2 December in Berlin. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso opened the conference.
Mrs. Kefalogianni said tourism in Greece serves as a barometer for growth and employment in the country and is also an essential tool to exit the crisis. “We all now recognize that tourism is helping Greece greatly in this difficult time,” she said.
In view of Greece’s presidency of the European Union, which begins in January 2014, the tourism minister noted that all matters of Southern Europe countries related to competitiveness, entrepreneurship and attracting investment in the tourism sector, will be examined under a new structured tourism policy. “It is a vital issue for the countries of the South to enhance the growth of tourism,” she said.
More into her speech, the tourism minister referred to the Greek Government’s reform work in recent years and underlined the sacrifices made by Greek citizens. She said the efforts have borne fruit and reminded of the primary surplus achieved by Greece.
She then presented the national strategic plan for Greek tourism, citing four pillars: legislative reforms, special zoning plan for tourism, the new National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and Greece’s communication strategy for tourism.
During her stay in Berlin, Mrs. Kefalogianni will meet with the head of tour operator DER Touristik, Soren Hartmann. She will also be interviewed by FVW, Germany’s leading trade magazine for tourism and business travel.