Highlighting the importance of yachting and marine tourism for Greece, as well as paving the way for new collaborations to further the competitiveness of the country, were the focus of the 17th East Med Yacht Show held at the Zea Marina in Piraeus, last week.
Addressing the four-day event, Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association (EPEST) President Antonis Stelliatos noted the increase in the number of charters of Greek professional boats this year, which he attributes to Greece’s exemplary safety record and to efforts being made to tackle illegal chartering practices.
“I want to clarify that EPEST and I personally want all vessels from across the globe to visit Greece, but on one condition: legally and on equal terms with Greek vessels,” Stelliatos said, referring to the efforts being made to establish a legal framework that will ensure viability and fair terms for all parties.
Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroublis referred to the industry’s role as a driver of the economy, adding that the ministry’s priorities include improving naval training in order to curb unemployment, identifying and tapping into the resources available on remote islands in order to strengthen local communities, as well as further developing other areas such as shipbuilding.
On her part Attica Regional Governor Rena Dourou referred to the importance of establishing the wider Attica region into a leading international marine tourism destination, which she said is already “overdue”.
“The yachting industry can prove to be a strong trump card… despite missing out on great opportunities in the past years compared to rival neighboring countries. Today we are moving ahead to cover lost ground… upgrading infrastructure, marinas and shelters for the secure mooring, docking and supply of all types of boats with the aim of promoting the comparative advantages of Attica,” Dourou said.
Meanwhile, the President of the Economic and Social Council of Greece, and Secretary General of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) George Vernicos expressed his optimism that the Greece is on the brink of a “technological revolution in the field of marine tourism… it’s not by chance that there is growing interest in Greece by professionals wishing to benefit from the increasing tourist flows and from the country’s sea tourism”.
In its third year at the Zea Marina, the 17th East Med Yacht Show aims to contribute to the upgrade of services provided in the industry, foster collaborations with foreign operators as well as with Greek professionals active internationally, improve Greece’s standing as a yachting destination, spur maritime tourism, establish Greece as a leading tourist destination, and boost competitiveness. It is attended by more than 5,000 visitors each year.
The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) was a communication sponsor of the 17th East Med Yacht Show.