Special forms of tourism linked to agriculture and marine activities are the two main areas to benefit from EU relief funds after the European Commission approved Greece’s resilience plan on Thursday paving the way for the release of 30.5 billion euros to go towards reforms and investments that will enable the country to emerge stronger after Covid-19.
Connecting via live link from a winery in Amyntaio, northern Greece, Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and his deputy Sofia Zacharaki presented the ministry’s strategy set out in Greece’s “Ellada 2.0” plan to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Mitsotakis hosted von der Leyen at a special event held at the Ancient Agora in Athens on Thursday.
Theoharis underlined that tourism was among the hardest hit sectors by the Covid health crisis and pledged that the funding – expected to be released in July – will go towards the enhancement of the Greek tourism product and the creation of jobs.
According to the minister, the ministry’s two-pronged strategy focused on the green and blue pillars: the first includes the development of wine tourism, agrotourism and the support of mainly small or medium-sized enterprises in Greece, and the second concerns maritime tourism focusing on the upgrade of marina infrastructure, the development of accessible beaches, the creation of specialized products such as diving parks that will enrich sea-related activities.
These actions aim “to achieve the strategic realignment of the Greek tourism product, achieved through the extension of the tourism season, through the creation of new destinations, and through the acceleration of the digitalization and green transition of Greek tourism,” said Theoharis.
“We know that tourism is about people and infrastructure and through Ellada 2.0 we aim to invest in both,” said Zacharaki.
“Greek tourism is famous, and it is obvious to see that you are modernizing and at the same time taking very well care of your environment,” said van der Leyen.