Greek Tourism Bill Passed, Paves Way for Public-private Synergies
Greek lawmakers approved a tourism bill tabled in parliament last week which among others introduces tools that will enable public-private partnerships and sets out the terms of operation for destination management and promotion organizations (DMOs).
The draft titled “Standard Tourist Destinations of Integrated Management, Destination Management and Promotion Organizations, Thermal Springs of Greece, and Other Regulations for Tourism Development” was passed on Monday night, and is aimed at stimulating cooperation between investors, private companies, and local stakeholders.
“The bill brings a strategy that extends a network of tourism development tools to all regions. It is a huge asset that Greece is the number 5 tourist brand in the world. And we will go to all lengths to ensure that this is preserved with initiatives that will further strengthen the country’s tourism brands,” said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.
The minister went on to add that the priority will be to ensure that all of the country’s regions and municipalities can benefit from 320 million euros in Recovery and Resilience Funding which will go into tools such as ports, marinas, ski resorts, thermal springs, accessibility infrastructure, and digitization.
Commenting the law, Kikilias said it focused on development and strategically supported the tourism product responding to the needs of the sector while offering contemporary tools for growth to all. Greek authorities are hoping the new legal framework, which has cut red tape significantly, will also attract private investments in tourism.
Among others, the new law, Kikilias said, resolves the age-old issue of the utilization of thermal springs, the overhaul, preservation and development of Zakynthos’ famed shipwreck beach, lays the terms of operation for DMOs and includes a series of provisions on other tourism-related issues.
One of the key points of the legislation is the creation of the country’s “Thermal Springs of Greece SA” company, which will design, oversee and manage the development of the country’s wellness tourism product while ensuring revenue stays locally, says Kikilias.
Lastly, the minister referred to the country’s winter tourism campaign launched last week noting that the goal was to promote winter and alternative destinations as well as city break holidays in efforts to extend the season.
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