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Rena Dourou, Regional Governor of Attica

Philoxenia 2014 greeting.

Tourism is of great importance for Greece and a key factor for the country’s recovery. In this context, Attica Region, heart of the country, has a significant role to play, being distinguished worldwide for its culture, its history and its unique “lightful” environment. Attica Region still prides itself on being ranked high as preferred destination for visitors from around the world and we intend not only to maintain this distinction but also to improve our place.

As far as the new Regional Authority is concerned, being keenly aware of our responsibility and our role in the development perspective and the strengthening of regional infrastructures, we plan a series of initiatives which are to be launched soon and which aim at a) highlighting Attica Region in a modern, scientific and organized way, and b) achieving regional development through targeted actions.

More specifically, the decision of Attica Region to deliver sustainable infrastructure with the aim of devising development strategies for multifaceted tourism product development, promotion and management will indeed invigorate its tourism industry throughout the year, as Attica’s unique comparative advantage lies precisely in having the lowest seasonality in Greece.

A key prerequisite for this though is to first address the problems which affect the citizens-inhabitants of Attica themselves. Poverty, unemployment and social exclusion have major impact on the heart of Greece. Therefore, our objectives include, inter alia, ensuring a sustainable tourism development with a social profile, while protecting the historical and cultural environment of Attica.

For example, how is it possible for us to plan the tourism promotion of Athens without being able to address the problem of the city’s homeless?

Our vision is to upgrade not just the image of Attica, but the very lives of its citizens, in all its municipalities, by making optimal use of public property instead of surrendering it.

We can neither sell off Attica’s coasts, green spaces and airports, nor abolish public institutions on tourism education and training!

This is the greatest challenge for us to confront!

Despite the increase in tourism flows this year, we cannot rest on our laurels, unless we have a clear and overall view on what are the profits and who benefits from them.

Tourists are neither mere numbers and percentages, nor an idea of consumption. They are human beings, living in a society, having a culture!

Therefore, we must make sure that the high standards of all our tourism infrastructures are maintained, and even upgraded, so as to offer quality services to visitors, thus consolidating the positive image of Attica on the world map.

In the light of these considerations, Attica Region welcomes this year’s annual “Philoxenia 2014”, wishing it every success.

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