The Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge in the history of Greek tourism and the priority now is to recover lost ground and emerge stronger and more resilient, said Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis in an interview to the Athens News Agency.
Aside from adherence to preventative measures and developments on the coronavirus front, Fragakis referred to three key targets topping the GNTO, tourism ministry and government agenda for 2022.
First and foremost, said Fragakis is sustainable development aimed safeguarding Greece’s natural resources and protecting the environment – both directly linked with the country’s tourist product and both competitive advantages for decades.
Second in line is upgrading tourism-related infrastructure at major destinations, including ports, marinas and public road networks and modernizing transportation and accommodation facilities.
Third on the list of priorities is addressing the issue of seasonality particularly with regard to human resources active in tourism, which he said must include updated tourism education and improved training.
Looking ahead to the new year, Fragakis said extending the tourism season, opening to tourists earlier and increasing revenues were main priorities. He added that introducing new lesser known destinations as well as maintaining travel spending levels were also very important.
Greece managed to cover significant ground in 2021 with tourism revenues in the first 10 months of the year to October amounting to 10.195 billion euros compared to 4.213 billion euros in the same period in 2020 and to 17.569 billion euros in pre-Covid 2019, according to the Bank of Greece (BoG) data.