Boasting over 20 million incoming visitors, creating some 100,000 new jobs and contributing more than 20 percent to the country’s GDP, Greece’s tourism sector is undeniably a driving force to be reckoned with, the president of the main industry body said in his New Year’s statement, expressing his concerns about snap elections set to take place on January 25.
“Regardless of the political developments, we are ready to venture into the battle to preserve the achievements made in Greek tourism and to continue working to reach our next target,” Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) president Andreas Andreadis said.
Mr. Andreadis described 2014 as a “gold” year, stressing that key to meeting the goals set out in the strategic plan through to 2021 were the collaboration of public and private sectors and the concerted efforts of the industry’s professionals.
For the first time after the crisis in Greece, 21.5 million arrivals were recorded (excluding cruise arrivals) in 2014, and the country achieved a four-fold growth rate up by 20 percent compared to 15 percent in 2013 and in relation to competitors such as Italy, Spain and Turkey, among others.
Mr. Andreadis spoke of “dark clouds gathering over Greece in 2015” referring to the snap elections, which he said created “anguish, fear and anger” for the sector. He called on candidates to present a feasible four-year plan that will “shield Greek tourism and the miracle that it has thus far achieved”.
In this direction, Mr. Andreadis underlined the need to utilize Marketing Greece for the most efficient promotion of small businesses and of Greece as an all-year-round tourist destination and SETE Intelligence (InSETE), the association’s research department, for the implementation of quality standards and educational programs.