A draft bill setting the terms and conditions for the development of special interest 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, was approved by Greek parliament recently.
Speaking in parliament after the vote, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said the revised law was aimed “enriching the tourism product, upgrading the image of Greek tourism, and contributing to the creation of a contemporary, more efficient tourist product”.
The new legislation now simplifies licensing procedures for the establishment of diving and marine parks as well as makes underwater antiquities and shipwrecks visitable for the first time through public-private partnerships.
Covid-19 health protocols included in law
Theoharis went on to add that the law, which also sets out guidance for the application of health protocols by tourism enterprises, “is of vital importance at this given time in view of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, setting the conditions for the public’s safety while supporting entrepreneurship and employees and establishing prospects for the sector’s further growth”.
Besides improving the current framework and introducing new regulations, the newly passed law also paves the way for the development of diving tourism, which Greek tourism authorities are betting on to boost revenues; revises tourist development policies aimed at simplifying administrative procedures also covering port and marina infrastructure and urban planning issues; and introduces terms for the development of luxury camping, known as “glamping”.
Among others, the law also introduces a new certification seal for glamping and sets out the framework for the launch of the service aiming, among others, to contribute to the diversification of the Greek tourism product.