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Minister Kountoura Announces New Legal Framework for Tourism

© Maria Theofanopoulou

The tourism sector, together with energy, new technologies, primary production and transport, is playing a leading role in the national drive for growth, encouraging entrepreneurship, promoting projects and large investments in the country in the coming years, said Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura speaking at the 4th annual conference on the economy organized on Monday by the Hellenic Association of Entrepreneurs.

Addressing the event, Minister Kountoura announced the creation of a new legislative framework for tourism set to be codified in June and completed by autumn with the aim to tackle overregulation in the sector.

The minister went on to underline the government’s ongoing efforts and far-reaching strategy that has included opening up to new markets, simplifying business procedures and introducing direct flights to and from Greece to major global destinations.

“We have opened up to new markets such as the Middle East, China and South Korea, and have strengthened markets such as Russia, the US and Canada, in efforts to attract high-income and higher-spending travelers all year round… and we are now expanding into the tourist markets of India and Brazil, where we participated for the first time in the biggest international tourism fairs this year,” she said.

Kountoura noted that Greece has won over the trust of holidaymakers as well as of investors as demonstrated by some 142 hotel projects filed in 2016 now in the process of gaining licensing, while 251 hotel investment proposals have already been submitted since March 2017.

The minister concluded by stressing that distorting the truth and creating false impressions will in the end impact tourism professionals and discourage investment, undermining any efforts for growth referring to opposition comments.

“Tourism is a national affair and an area of high responsibility, not a field of political controversy,” she said.

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