With the tourism season ready to take off, Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura expressed her optimism on Thursday, during the 24th annual general assembly of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), adding that she expects a record year and sees international interest in Greece as a holiday destination growing.
“Greece is currently one of the most attractive and competitive destinations in the region, offering a unique and genuine product which we are continually strengthening and enriching,” she said, adding that it is the first time the government is operating under a single national tourism promotion strategy.
Tourism ministry’s goals
Addressing the convention, Ms Kountoura reiterated that tourism is “national affair” and presented the goals of her ministry which include extending the tourist season, working with 13 regions for the development of local tourism, actively promoting alternative forms of tourism, identifying and pushing new Greek destinations, opening up to new markets, upgrading the quality of tourism products and services, tapping into luxury tourism so as to increase revenue per visitor, improving infrastructure of tourism accommodation including airports, ports and marinas, as well as reinforcing tourism policy.
The minister also added that the focus now is to expand into medical and spa, religious, cultural, culinary, congress, sea, cruise, yachting and sports tourism.
Ms Kountoura underlined that in collaboration with relevant bodies and ministries as well as through the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), Greece is now represented at the world’s top tourism exhibitions while the government is laying out the groundwork to attract investment in the sector.
“In the last year alone more than 160 proposals were submitted for the establishment of new 4- and 5-star hotels, the upgrade of existing units and the creation of tourism resorts in the Cyclades, on Crete, in the Peloponnese and other regions of the country.”
“The global market is showing its confidence in Greece and for 2016 we have received very positive signs. If all goes well, we expect a new tourism record.
International markets have responded strongly to our new policy,” Minister Kountoura concluded.