On the back of record visitor numbers and accolades from the international tourism industry, it is time for the Greek tourism sector to move to the next level with confidence and the will to keep abreast of the changing times, said Alexandros Vassilikos, president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.
In an interview with Vima on Sunday, Vassilikos, who is also owner and CEO of Airotel Group of Hotels, cited five areas that are key to ensuring that the strong tourism dynamic continues into the future:
- A long-term strategy that will withstand external conditions,
- Horizontal cooperation across the spectrum of tourism-related services,
- Assessing success based on quality and not quantity; evaluating the overall tourist experience that includes hospitality, sense of safety, and services,
- Offering specialized tourism training and education to create next-generation professionals who have the knowhow and respect the product,
- And lastly, ensuring that the Greek hotel sector remains competitive, which translates into easing taxation and offering incentives for development and upgrades.
The aim, Vassilikos concludes, is to “use the current dynamic as a springboard for greater changes in tourism policy, which must be implemented with the greatest possible consensus” and which will in turn create new opportunities for the next generation, reverse the “brain drain” trend, and at the same time ensure balance between short-term rental practices and local community needs at popular destinations.