Key Tourism Figures 2016: Stathis Skretas, President Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies
I would like to focus on the World Tourism Organization’s message for 2016: “Tourism for All”.
This is because I feel that any other statement, which would possibly be related to statistics, optimistic trends and so on, would leave a huge gap in reality:
Unfortunately, in the year of 2016 we must admit that we are not producing tourism for all. The Greek reality does not seem to be serving the right of every person for recreation and a travel experience.
Besides creating conditions of security and accessibility for all in all places of interest, an important parameter is to take into account all groups of visitors and travelers during the whole procedure: From the design of a website that presents our travel programs to the creation of the tourism product with all its elements: transportation, guided tours, catering, accommodation, entertainment and education.
I would love to make a joyful statement on this subject, a statement that could promise substantial results for the future. However, without the synergy of the State, the competent entities and, naturally, the Ministries, my wish cannot be fulfilled.
Our association, HATTA, has proved with its activity in the past that it is moving in this direction, by organizing relatively themed workshops and training courses for people with mobility impairments and other difficulties. I extend an open invitation to all entities of the private and public sector to cooperate with us to attain this goal.
Because, indeed, Tourism IS for All! And I would like this statement to be so obvious that we wouldn’t need to come back to it in the future, since it needs no further explanation.