Greece aims to evolve into a leading policy-maker on tourism development in the Mediterranean region, said Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura during the 6th Mediterranean Tourism Forum, which took place in Malta last week.
Kountoura, who become an honorary member of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation (MTF) for her key role in the development of tourism in the region, stressed the importance of sustainable tourism development, and how Greece can actively participate in planning for the “next day” offering know-how, best practices, and experience.
Addressing the forum, Kountoura presented Greece’s 2015-2018 strategy and actions implemented to address and effectively manage industry challenges, which led to the highest tourist performance of all time – a 33 percent rise in the number of arrivals over a four-year period.
She went on to add that the emphasis was placed on regulation and design referring to the new legal framework for special interest tourism aimed at attracting more visitors as well as investors who will contribute to the upgrade of the tourist product as the demand rises.
Minister Kountoura went on to note that Greece actively supported bilateral, regional and international initiatives for tourism development in the wider Mediterranean region, including among others Silk Road Tourism, and transnational partnerships in the development of maritime and thematic tourism, as well as efforts set in motion by Greece to address the potential consequences of a hard Brexit.
Concluding, the Greek minister stressed the importance of tourism for the people, for local economies and for national growth. In this direction, she referred to the crucial role of cooperation, synergies and understanding.
“The Mediterranean is the ‘heart’ of global tourism and can be a bright example for the world; how people and societies can shape a better future through tourism, peace, security and prosperity,” she said.