Referring to a 15 percent increase in the number of arrivals to the Peloponnese in 2017, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura underlined the need to extend the season, tap into new markets, identify new products and boost local cooperation during the 10th regional conference in Tripoli, this week.
Together with Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou, Kountoura addressed local authorities, policy-makers, professionals and stakeholders during the event which focused on ways to integrate culture and sports into an enhanced tourism product that will attract visitors all year round.
“Our goal is to spur tourism development, enhance the outward orientation of tourism, reinforce local communities and create new jobs through tourism,” said Kountoura. This can be achieved through synergies as well as via the interaction of sport, nature, gastronomy, to create the conditions that will boost tourist flows throughout the year while achieving sustainable growth.
The minister referred to her collaboration with Regional Governor of the Peloponnese Petros Tatoulis which has contributed to the increase in the number of arrivals to the region via Kalamata Airport, higher occupancy rates at hotels beyond the traditional summer season and stronger visitor numbers to Peloponnese sites.
Kountoura added that the ministry was currently in negotiations with international tour operators and airlines in efforts to secure direct links to Kalamata Airport, which will in turn increase tourism to the region and boost growth.
Referring to 14 tourism proposals for the region – which include a tourist village in Argolida, three resorts in Corinthia, Messinia and Laconia, hotels, investments for the upgrade of the Menalon and Ziria ski resorts, camp grounds, conference centers, golf courses and a marina – currently being examined by the ministry, Kountoura said that demand for the Peloponnese is set to grow in the coming years as long as regional authorities and stakeholders focus on availability and quality.
She concluded by underlining the significant role and opportunity for the Peloponnese Region as co-organizer of the 6th World Tourism Forum Lucerne Think Tank to be hosted by the Costa Navarino in Messinia on March 2-3 and which will include the participation of the World Tourism Organization, the OECD, as well as the industry’s most influential CEOs, ministers, investors, professors and start-ups.