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Yachting & Sailing Tourism a Top Priority for Greece

GNTO President Angela Gerekou. Photo source: 1st Panhellenic Yachting Conference

Greece aims to further develop yachting and sailing tourism through a series of actions that include modernizing marinas and upgrading infrastructure, said Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) President Angela Gerekou during the two-day Panhellenic Yachting Conference held in Athens recently. 

Gerekou said yachting was a significant contributor to national wealth and that the ministry and the GNTO had already set out actions and initiatives to strengthen the segment. 

GNTO’s president went on to refer to the high demand for yachting and especially mega yachting in Greece as demonstrated in 2019, when the country was ranked 3rd most popular destination in the world in terms of chartering large yachts. In 2020 it moved up to 2nd spot and in 2021 it took the lead accounting for 24 percent of the market share in charters, said Gerekou.

Looking ahead, and based on confirmed bookings, Gerekou said 2022 was expected to be “excellent” with figures already reaching 57 percent of existing fleet. 

The head of GNTO stressed however that Greece still had a long way to go to ensure its competitive edge including further expanding the marina network across the country, doing away with red tape so as to liberate high end day trips by professional recreational sailing companies, boosting premium day trips catered to high-income travelers, and the creation of a well-trained and specialized workforce.

Sailing and yachting “can contribute billions of euros to the national economy”, said Gerekou. As part of efforts to further strengthen the industry, the GNTO in collaboration with the tourism ministry launched a mini campaign promoting yachting, sailing and diving as part of the international “All You Want is Greece” campaign; worked with global digital platforms to target high-end visitors; and participates in specialized marine tourism exhibitions and shows.

Gerekou lastly referred to ministry and GNTO actions promoting Greece as the ultimate destination for multifaceted and authentic experiences with an emphasis on sustainable practices in lesser-known destinations.

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  1. Ileana Gratsou Reply

    Yachts should pay a proper daily fee per tonne, for sailing in Greek waters. A yacht that happily pays €8,000 dollars per night in Sardinia pays €25 in Ithaki. The locals need to be compensated for the noise, light, oil and fuel pollutants. Harbour masters often can’t afford the petrol to go and patrol where the yachts are moored. We should be raising proper revenue from those using our precious resources.

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