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Greece Needs a New Tourism Model, Says Minister

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis speaking at the 3rd International Hospitality Forum of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis speaking at the 3rd International Hospitality Forum of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on Saturday underlined the need for all stakeholders to work together towards establishing a new tourism model for Greece.

“This new tourism model needs new techniques, knowledge and a shift to digital technology,” the minister said while speaking to a packed audience of tourism professionals attending the 3rd International Hospitality Forum of the  Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.

“We need to embrace the changes that have already taken place and those that will be made,” Minister Theoharis said.

New types of tourism, promoting different products

The minister then referred to the fact that Greece was finally seeing the development of new types of tourism, such as city break tourism.

“Our country was not strong in city break tourism. Athens, however, has transformed in recent years. From a city used by tourists only for its airport, as a stopover before arriving to another (Greek) destination, it is already turning into a city that tourists will visit to experience what it has to offer,” he underlined.

The minister stressed that efforts of tourism bodies will be encouraged by the State in order to accomplish the much wanted extension of the tourism season to 365 days a year.

“To achieve this, we need to focus on different products, because, although each product will be focused on a specific time period, when everything is well developed, then a country can have 12 months of tourism,” he said.

Challenges / Initiatives

Minister Theoharis added that the challenges the industry is facing – shifting towards sustainability, making changes for better accessibility, providing tourism for people with disabilities – can only be achieved through joint efforts.

He then said that the ministry will soon announce a series of initiatives in order to boost efforts being made.

“Because what the tourist of the 21st century demands is certification, professional service and an authentic experience – not a prefabricated experience that can be found in any country,” the minister said.

“If there is one lesson we can take from the problems of the past is that our country has identity, quality and authenticity in the way it handles hospitality,” Minister Theoharis said.

The Xenia 2019 hospitality expo was inaugurated by Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.

The Xenia 2019 hospitality expo was inaugurated by Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis. Photo © GTP

The 3rd International Hospitality Forum of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels took place during the opening day of the Xenia 2019 hospitality trade show at the Metropolitan Expo Center in Athens.

The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) was a communication sponsor of the 3rd International Hospitality Forum.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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