Greece has emerged as one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, building bridges, strengthening ties and reaching out to new markets with the ultimate goal to offer the finest product to its visitors, said Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura during the opening in Athens, of this year’s Greek Hospitality Awards.
Kountoura referred to the results of a far-reaching national tourism strategy that was put into effect some four years ago and has led to a 35 percent increase in tourism figures as well as record arrivals and revenue.
“We have heightened our authority and built relationships with the global tourism market, with travel industry leaders who now look to Greece as a reliable and trustworthy partner. We have strengthened our outward orientation and our country is now one of the most sought-after tourism destinations all year round,” said Kountoura, adding that this has resulted in significant economic benefits for the industry over the last two years, with double-digit growth in turnover and profitability, rising employment figures and booming new investments.
At the same time, Kountoura said, the industry supported the Greek economy’s recovery, contributing to the development of all linked productive sectors.
Expressing her gratitude to the private sector for maintaining the highest quality services and products, Kountoura was quick to point out that Greece’s “success story” is not one based on chance or circumstance but on hard work, synergies, cooperation, and quality, underlining that the country’s achievements have been recognized by all international bodies.
“It is the result of a concrete strategy in close cooperation with regional authorities, productive forces and the private sector who worked to create and exploit the opportunities for the development of Greek tourism,” she said.
“This success is a success for all of us. It is a success for Greece, and makes us very proud.”
Before bestowing the Top Greek Hotel and Top Greek Resort awards, Kountoura said she expected 2019 to be a “demanding year” due to factors that are keeping Europe’s travel market vigilant but which the ministry has already taken measures for moving ahead with its goals to boost demand and tourist market shares.
The minister awarded Rocabella Myconos Hotel and Grecotel Corfu Imperial Exclusive as the Top Greek Hotel for 2019, and Μayia Exclusive Resort & Spa, Anemos Luxury Grand Resort, Grand Resort Lagonissi, Temes, and Sani Resort with the Top Greek Resort 2019 award.