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Ministry: Program for Greek Tourism Businesses to Operate All Year Round

The Tourism Ministry is planning to launch a special program to encourage businesses of the sector to operate 12 months a year and thus support efforts to establish Greece as a 365 days a year destination.

Under the title “Tourism Businesses Open 365 Days a Year”, the program is planned to operate at popular and developed spots in Greece, ideal for year-round tourism.

The program announced on Thursday is one of the ministry’s priorities included in Greece’s development plan that maps out the next steps of the country as it prepares to exit its third and final bailout program in August.

“In this development plan for the next day, we want you all by our side, with suggestions and close cooperation, to achieve the greatest possible results,” Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said during the 26th General Assembly of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) to an audience of tourism professionals.

Also, under the 365 days a year concept, the ministry will also examine the possibility of establishing special tourist zones (areas) in Greece for year-round tourism development, focusing on medical tourism, MICE tourism, golf tourism and senior tourism.

As announced by Kountoura, the ministry’s priorities for the “next day of tourism” also include:

• Concrete actions to support entrepreneurship, aiming to directly increase the availability of hotel beds and improve their quality.
• A comprehensive framework for the specialization of the sector in thematic tourism products and services, which will include additional incentives for entrepreneurship, specialized training programs and subsidies to strengthen the creation of new specialized jobs.
• A more competitive framework to attract investors for the strategic development priorities of tourism that focus mainly on new hotel complexes, large and medium-sized marinas all over Greece, the development of cruise ports, the development of medical and thermal tourism, the creation of theme parks and the creation of tourist villages to host EU nationals, allowing them to transfer their tax residence to Greece.
• Planning special programs to link tourism to agricultural production.
• Develop a modern system of public tourism education that responds to today’s needs of the tourism market.
• The digital transition of the Tourism Ministry, the Greek National Tourism Organization, the Visit Greece portal and tourism education.

“Once again I want to stress that the success of our tourism is a success of all of us. And therefore, success and the years ahead concern us all,” Minister Kountoura said and invited the country’s productive forces, local authorities and communities to support the government’s effort to develop tourism as a powerful driving force for the economic and social progress and prosperity of Greece.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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