Greece To Adopt New Tourism Quality Principles Of European Commission
Greece intends to adopt a proposal made by the European Commission and adapt its tourism services to a set of voluntary quality principles, according to Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni. The Commission has proposed a set of voluntary “European Tourism Quality Principles” to ensure that tourists traveling to other Member States or visiting the continent from third countries will get value for their money.
Mrs. Kefalogianni made the announcement during a joint press conference with the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki that took place in the framework of the Informal Ministerial Meeting for Tourism in Athens on 10 March.
The Greek tourism minister said that among the country’s priorities is the qualitative upgrading of Greek tourism, which, in conjunction with the promotion of a series of other actions and initiatives (thematic tourism, education, extending the season), will bring the country to the lead in the global tourism market.
European Commision’s proposal to promote quality tourism in Europe
The proposed set of voluntary “European Tourism Quality Principles” cover four main areas:
– staff training under the supervision of a quality coordinator,
– consumer satisfaction to ensure that tourist can rely on handling of their complaints,
– cleanliness and maintenance,
– correctness and reliability of information in at least the most relevant foreign language.
“Such access to reliable and up-to-date information on the quality of tourism services enables tourists to differentiate among competing products, to make an informed choice and to overcome linguistic difficulties,” Ms. Damanaki said.
According to the Commission, small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) will find it easier to emphasize that they are providing a high quality service by sticking to such principles. The proposal will therefore help SMEs, which make up over 90 percent of the EU tourism sector.
The Commission has made it clear that this initiative will be voluntary for Member States. In this way no unnecessary burden is imposed on Member States’ administrations.
“They are however invited to coordinate, monitor and promote the application of the Principles within their respective territories,” Ms. Damanaki added.
The proposed recommendations will be discussed by the Council also during the Italian EU Presidency.