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New Legal Framework for Greek Thematic Tourism Forms in the Works

The Greek Tourism Ministry has prepared a new legal framework for thematic tourism activities, based on the guidelines of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura announced on Monday. The new legal framework will be made public soon for stakeholder consultation.

Speaking to journalists during a press conference, the minister said that the legal framework for thematic tourism was part of a broader draft law prepared by the ministry. The draft law aims to tackle procedural, administrative and bureaucratic problems that have affected Greek entrepreneurs and professionals in the tourism industry in the past.

“By the end of the week the first part of the draft law, which concerns thematic tourism, will go up for public consultation,” she said, adding that the new legal framework includes the exact definition of thematic tourism and defines the products that are “strong enough” to be promoted.

According to Minister Kountoura, the framework focuses on many tourism forms, with cultural tourism in the lead and includes religious tourism, medical and health tourism, rural tourism, sports tourism (recreational and adventure), city tourism and educational tourism.

“This is the first legal framework based on the guidelines of the UNWTO so that we can define and identify each of the thematic tourism products so that ministerial decisions can be taken based on standards… It is a comprehensive bill with very specific international guidelines and will now go up for stakeholder consultation… Once the procedure is completed, it will be tabled in Parliament,” she said.

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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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