The past year (May 2017 – May 2018) has been a year of successes, challenges and major problems for Greek tourism, the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Yiannis Retsos, said on Thursday.
Speaking during the closed session of the confederation’s 26th General Assembly in Athens, Retsos said that Greek tourism saw successes, because it managed for another year to remain the protagonist in the great effort of the recovery of the Greek economy.
He then pointed to challenges the sector saw during the past year, which includes growing competition. “Times require constant adjustments and our strategy must evolve constantly,” Retsos underlined.
Regarding the problems Greek tourism is up against, SETE’s president stressed that the country’s successes in the sector are taking place in an environment of “overtaxation, uncertainty and many structural or institutional issues”, many of which remain unresolved from the state.
Retsos then focused on the four priorities the confederation is setting for the next period: interconnecting tourism with culture; focusing on tourism education/training through the SETE Institute’s (INSETE) training pillar, Sete Training; helping the Greek society develop a tourism mentality by explaining the benefits of tourism; and developing agri-food and the wider interconnection with the primary sector.
Referring to the previous tourism period, Retsos noted that SETE achieved its goals on four fronts, as it managed to further strengthen Greek tourism, maintain a beneficial relationship with the government for the sake of the Greek economy, strengthen tourism’s social dimension and its social footprint and keep the whole sector united.
In 2017, inbound tourist traffic grew by 7.4 percent, reaching 30.1 million tourists.
According to INSETE data (see infographic below), Greek tourism reported an increase in revenue from abroad by 11.4 percent or 1.45 billion euros last year compared to 2016. The overall increase of tourism activity is estimated at 1.56 billion euros (from 16,7 million euros direct contribution to GDP in 2016 to 18,3 million euros in 2017). Moreover, tourism’s direct contribution to GDP was 10.3 percent, whereas the sector’s direct and indirect contribution is estimated between 22.6 percent and 27.3 percent.
“Today I have the honor to stand in front of historic members of SETE, people who have envisioned, believed and created this great commonplace for our country. To these people we owe a promise, or rather we have the obligation to always stand united,” he said while concluding his speech.
The open session of SETE’s 26th general assembly will take place at the Athens Concert Hall at 7:30.