The equal distribution of tourist traffic to all of Greece’s regions, ensuring in this way inclusive development, is a top tourism ministry priority, said Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas this week during the 8th Regional Development conference held in Patra.
Konsolas described the concentration of all tourism activity in a just a few regions as a major “weakness” of the sector. To demonstrate he presented data according to which 87 percent of all tourism to Greece is concentrated in five of the country’s 13 regions. The minister said this would be addressed with a new bill currently in the works.
“The over-concentration of tourism activities in only a few regions undermines the sector’s sustainability, the concept of balanced development,” he said.
“We want to include all of the country’s regions on the map of tourism development. We want the comparative advantages of each region to be utilized; for each region to acquire its own independent tourist identity, its own brand,” he said.
Konsolas stressed the importance of formulating a new model of tourist development that will focus on diversifying the tourist product, attracting higher-income visitors; green tourism; digital transformation of tourism enterprise; and improving the sectors’ competitiveness.
The new legal framework, Konsolas said, will cover nine targets set out by the ministry which include setting up a structure to promote investment
at regional and local levels; creating business incentives in the regional tourism sector and creating a one-stop shop unit for tourism investments in each region; creating clusters with the participation of public, private and non-profit organizations and linking these to tourism companies with local producers and businesses; designing initiatives and actions for the integration of special and alternative forms of tourism; and ensuring that the sector transitions into the digital economy.