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World Tourism Day 2014: Message By The Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers

Yiannis Retsos, Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers President

Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers President Yiannis Retsos

“World Tourism Day 2014 is dedicated to linking tourism with local communities and is focused on the opportunities the sector offers its members to acquire the supplies and skills that will lead to growth and prosperity.

This year’s World Tourism Day finds Greek tourism in a period of strong recovery and growth. Tourism is undoubtedly the most promising and dynamic sector on the road towards recovery, growth and full restoration of our country’s image all over the world.

The Greek hotels – the vast majority being small family businesses – are key to our country’s economic and social fabric. They are areas of growth, employment, social cohesion and extroversion. Especially in less developed tourist areas of the Greek region, the hotel businesses literally act as guards and shield the Greek countryside from depopulation and decline.

Especially for the hotel industry, this year’s season indicates that a cycle of recession, crisis and big losses, is coming to an end. However, the proper management of the difficulties and problems faced by hotel business are not ensured, nor are new risks prevented, such as the dehellenization of hotel entrepreneurship.

This season, the Greek hotel industry pioneered once again in the advancement of Greek tourism and once again confirmed the high level of offered services, as shown by the results of international customer satisfaction surveys.

To be able, however, to ensure their sustainability, they should be supported, actively and effectively. Issues such as the continued lack of liquidity, tax rationalization, the need for effective support of small and medium entrepreneurship and the revival of domestic tourism, must be addressed directly and determinedly.

Currently, Greek hotels are evaluating the first signs and new developments for next season. Geopolitical tensions in our area, the growth rates of the major economies, exchange rates, primarily the Euro and the uncertainty, due to the resurgence of terrorist threats, are factors that do not allow confident conclusions about the flow of developments.

Therefore, careful planning and coordinated movements are required in order to make the most of the benefits of the current period, but also to shield the competitiveness of our hotel product even more while expecting even better days.”

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