Greece’s tourism strategy for the year ahead topped the agenda of talks between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on Wednesday.
The six-pronged plan dubbed MAZI 2020 focuses on a series of priorities including the formulation of a new legal framework covering special forms of tourism; the creation of a Santorini destination management body; strengthening maritime tourism with emphasis on simplifying marina positioning and licensing procedures; revising and modernizing vocational education in tourism; drawing up a national strategic tourism development plan (2021-2030) to upgrade and further enhance the competitiveness of the country’s tourism product; and regulating the short-term home rental market with the goal to develop tourism and ensuring social cohesion.
“There have been a number of positive interventions; the issue of Thomas Cook has been addressed, so now is the time to discuss planning for the first half of 2020 so that we can continue to build on the good momentum,” said Mitsotakis, who welcomed the tourism ministry delegation at Maximos Mansion as part of the government’s six-month evaluation program.
Mitsotakis went on to add that it was now time to implement a series of major structural reforms.
The meeting also covered progress made by the ministry in the July-December 2019 period, which included a 3.8 percent rise in January- November 2019 arrivals; a 13.1 percent increase in January-October revenue; a 9.3 percent rise in average spending per trip, and a 3.7 percent increase in the number of incoming travelers.
Theoharis also referred to a series of ministry initiatives completed in the second half of last year, which include launching for the first time a campaign during the pre-booking period; dealing with the impact of Thomas Cook’s collapse; revising the legal framework covering natural springs and spa tourism; reaching out to China; launching new airline connections to new markets (Shanghai, Bahrain); designing the electronic ticket for archaeological sites and museums; and working with the assets fund (HRADF) towards the privatization of the Itea, Aretsou, Pylos, and Nafplio marinas.