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New Law to Enable Diving Tourism Take-off in Greece

Paving the way for the development of special forms of marine tourism, including diving as well as regulations covering the operation of shoreline use, organized beaches, marine parks, marinas, disability access, thermal springs and spas, pool operation, and life guard services, the Greek government tabled a relevant draft bill last week.

Once passed in parliament, the new law will simplify licensing procedures for the creation of diving and marine parks as well as make underwater antiquities and shipwrecks visitable for the first time through public-private partnerships.

Besides the clarifications and improvements to diving tourism regulations, the upcoming law will also introduce a new certification seal for luxury camping, known as “glamping”, setting out the framework for the launch of the service and aiming, among others, to contribute to the diversification of Greece’s tourism product.

More specifically, the three-part bill focuses on improving the current framework and introducing new regulations for the development of diving tourism; the second part revises tourist development policies aimed at simplifying administrative procedures also covering port and marina infrastructure and urban planning issues; and the third part introduces terms for the development of glamping.

divers sea

Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

The new legislation now sets specific terms for the development of diving tourism, which the Greek tourism ministry expects will increase the number of travelers to Greece, contribute to the economic growth of remote island areas, create jobs in local communities, as well as extend the tourism season beyond the traditional summer period.

First on the list is a diving park to be created in the Kynouria Province  in the eastern Peloponnese, which has boosted actions to establish itself as a special interest tourism destination. In this direction, a joint ministerial decision approved the creation of a 1,704m2 diving park near the coastal town of Tyros, to be the country’s first such park.

Similar plans have already been submitted for the seaside towns of Loutraki and Tolo, the region’s authorities have said.

About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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