Innovative measures towards the modernization of existing structures and facilitation of travel such as simplified visa procedures, promoting the tourist product to new markets, extending visiting hours at cultural and archaeological sites, extending the season and promoting city break destinations can stimulate tourism demand, according to a report released this week by the Bank of Greece.
Titled “Towards a New Model of Development in Tourism: Structural Reforms and Tourism Product in Greece: The Crisis Period (2008-2014)”, the study is published in the Central Bank’s 42nd Economic Bulletin.
Assessing data from the 2008-2014 period, the research reveals that there has been a move to new markets for Greece’s tourism product, among these Russia and Turkey, with travelers from these countries recording the highest spending per night. According to the study, the number of visitors from Russia increased by 32.3 percent and from Turkey by 15.7 percent between 2011 and 2014.
At the same time, the findings conclude the growth in Greek tourism in the given time frame is in great part due to the improved quality of the products offered. Indicatively, the share of tourists from Europe increased from 81 percent to 85 percent in the 2005-2014 period. Leading markets in 2014 were Germany, the UK, France, Russia, Italy and Turkey.
One of the main areas of focus for further growth, according to the report, is culture. The experts urge authorities to tap into the country’s cultural offerings and work towards a more effective and far-reaching promotion of these products.