Enacting laws which will facilitate licensing procedures and cut red tape will allow for the development of marina infrastructure which will contribute to the expansion of sea tourism in Greece, said Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura during this week’s ICOMIA World Marinas Conference, currently being hosted at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) through to Saturday.
Kountoura underlined the significant contribution of tourism to the Greek economy and to Greece’s recovery.
“In 2018 we will once again break all arrival records and increase revenue by 15 percent, while extending the tourist season,” she said adding that the aim is to enact laws that will facilitate the development of marinas such as those at Alimos and on Chios, and in turn boost sea tourism to Greece.
The minister went on to stress the importance of developing and exploiting small and medium-sized marina ventures across Greece, adding that marine tourism has been a priority of the government which has for the first time drawn a strategy aiming to strengthen Greece’s position internationally.
The tourism ministry, she said, is planning to establish a network of small and medium-sized marinas that will operate as hub ports. The business plan for the project is being drawn up in collaboration with EU experts. Emphasis has been given to attracting recreational marine tourism with Greece serving as a yachting hub for the Southeastern Mediterranean and Europe.
In tune with Shipping Minister Fotis Kouvelis, Kountoura said attracting foreign capital was key to developing the industry, inviting investors to take advantage of the opportunities in Greece, underlining however that the focus must be on sustainable ventures and practices.
“I urge you to explore the new opportunities that have opened up in Greece, and to invest in the promising sector of sea tourism, which is expected to grow and expand in the next few years,” she said.
In conclusion, Kountoura focused on the ministry’s actions for the promotion of yachting and sailing tourism with participation at international events and fora.