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Greece Aims to Link Commerce with Tourism for Greater Benefit

Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas and ESEE President Giorgos Karanikas (center)

Aiming to extend the benefits of increasing tourism flows to Greece, to other sectors, Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas invited Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE) President Giorgos Karanikas to play a key role in the formulation of the country’s tourism strategy.

Konsolas met on Monday, with Karanikas and trade body representatives to discuss ways to link tourism with trade so that the increasing number of tourist arrivals translate into revenues.

In this direction, ESEE proposed a series of measures which will boost small- and medium-size business activity and enhance sales in local communities.

Athens, shops

Plaka, Athens. Photo: GTP

Measures suggested include extending the tourism season; the promotion of products ‘made in Greece’; creating a “shopping experience” tourism product; supporting the “open mall destinations” initiative; tapping into cruise arrivals at ports; and slashing VAT for island businesses as well as providing transport deductions.

Konsolas said the ministry was looking forward to working with the ESSE as a “strategic partner” to develop the country’s tourism strategy that “should be connected with the commerce”.

With regard to the open mall initiative, he noted that it is an integral part of urban regeneration projects being implemented and can serve as a main attraction for visitors boosting local economies in the meantime.

On a final note, Konsolas underlined the importance of moving away from the all-inclusive model to the formation of business clusters to include hotels, F&B ventures and tourism services providers as well as to the creation of package deals that will include services outside the hotel.

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