Greece’s New Tourism Minister Takes Over
Greece’s new minister of tourism, Harry Theoharis, has assumed his duties, citing intentions of improving infrastructure, developing thematic tourism forms, enhancing education and training and, upgrading the quality of offered services to tourists that visit the country.
“This ministry is a ministry that has a tremendous task to carry out, it has tremendous developmental potential, but it also has tremendous challenges,” Minister Theoharis said during the tourism ministry handover ceremony on Tuesday.
“The international environment is not easy, sometimes the circumstance is favorable (for Greek tourism) – as was the case in the previous years – but we can not expect it to be in our favor forever or for years to come,” he added.
During his speech, the tourism minister underlined his aim, which is for tourism to lead Greece to achieve a strong annual growth of 4 percent.
“This goal will be supported by using the advantages of digital marketing and carrying out actions of extroversion and innovation in order to offer a product for all, but with the ultimate aim of attracting tourists of high income to Greece,” he said.
The new tourism minister also pointed out that cooperation with all tourism stakeholders is “absolutely necessary” in order to achieve the desired results.
On his part, Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas stressed that despite the many challenges, there is a great will to meet expectations and lead tourism to greater successes in line with the country’s potential.
Not a stranger to the Greek tourism sector, as he was New Democracy’s MP for tourism over the last four years, Konsolas said that he and Minister Theoharis are determined to produce results for the sector that will be politically sustainable, realistic, visible and measurable.
Outgoing Tourism Minister Thanasis Theocharopoulos referred to the ministry’s achievements in recent years which have upgraded the country’s image on an international level.
According to data presented by Theocharopoulos, incoming tourism to Greece has grown by 35 percent in recent years, with international tourist arrivals reaching 33 million and revenue from travel receipts growing to 18.5 billion euros per year.
For the 2019 tourism season in Greece, he said that international arrivals were showing a 2.5 million increase (a 13 percent rise) and a 30 percent increase in travel receipts.
Moreover, Theocharopoulos added that investments in the tourism sector are increasing more than any other sector of the economy.
The change in leadership of the tourism ministry follows the Greek parliamentary elections on July 7 that were marked by the victory of the center-right New Democracy (ND) party. To see the new government cabinet, press here.