In view of the upcoming national elections in Greece on July 7, political candidates presented their policies for the development of marine tourism during an event organized by the Greek Professional Yacht Owners Bareboat Association (SITESAP) and held at the Athens Marriott on Wednesday.
Candidates representing the country’s three leading parties (Syriza, New Democracy and KINAL) all agreed on the importance of yachting and the need to create a legal framework that will facilitate the expansion of the sector.
Issues tabled by SITESAP, representing professional yacht and boat owners, included port infrastructure, operational and financial issues.
Opening the event, Greek Tourism Minister Thanasis Theocharopoulos referred to the role maritime and coastal tourism can play in the promotion of sustainable development in Europe, both in terms of added value and job creation, adding that developing and upgrading marina infrastructure was key to making Greece more competitive.
SITESAP President Elena Vryoni stressed that issues affecting the sector have not been adequately addressed, and that like all business activity, the government must work on making it easier for yachting professionals to provide high quality products and services in a sustainable manner and in a fair environment ensured by a viable regulatory framework.
All parties agreed on the importance of bringing in investments that will go towards the upgrade of port and marina facilities, simplifying procedures, fair taxation, as well as a revised legal framework.
The ongoing issue of the Alimos Marina privatization and SITESAP’s request for a new marina location to host professional yacht owners was not addressed by the parties.
KINAL was the only party expressing its opposition to the privatization of the country’s marinas and called for port infrastructure, including marinas and anchorages, to instead be managed by clusters which will serve the needs of professionals and tourists.