Greece must focus on accelerating key infrastructure upgrades and particularly iconic projects that will bring added value to destinations if it wishes to make good on the reputation it built during the Covid-19 pandemic and remain highly competitive, a study released this week by INSETE, the Greek Tourism Confederation’s (SETE) research arm, found.
More specifically, according to research on public infrastructure investments that can contribute to tourism development carried out on SETE members in collaboration with GBR Consulting, Greece must proceed with the upgrade of the tourism product through a series of “vital” public works so as to contribute to the development of each destination as well as increase competitiveness.
The main focus, according to those polled, should be on public projects in digital technology, energy efficiency and infrastructure, among others.
Included in these works are also iconic projects which will bring added value to destinations. Those polled named:
- the creation of a metropolitan conference center in Athens;
- the revamp of Attica coastal front;
- customs stations upgrades on the border;
- converting Rhodes into a sustainable destination;
- improvement of road networks and signage;
- resolving the issue of tourist bus parking in Athens;
- renovating the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center (Helexpo) to facilitate MICE tourism; and
- construction of a new port on Santorini.
Overall, with regard to infrastructure/investment projects that should be accelerated countrywide based on specific-to-destination needs, these are, according to tourism stakeholders surveyed:
- airport extensions and modernizations;
- port and marina upgrades;
- road network and signage interventions;
- connectivity projects linking transport hubs;
- protection of coastal fronts;
- flood protection works; and
- projects to enhance the travel experience, including the creation of trail networks, walking and cycling routes, as well as improvements to archaeological and cultural sites.
Some of the projects currently underway include Crete’s new international airport at Kastelli, the mixed-use redevelopment of an abandoned tower in the heart of Piraeus, and the urban regeneration of the inner-city Moschato-Tavros area, among others.