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Investment, Destination Management Key for Greek Tourism Growth, Says SETE Chief

SETE President Yiannis Retsos

Investments, destination management, digital transformation and new experiences are key for the sustainable growth of Greek tourism into 2030, according to Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos.

Speaking during the 7th Delphi Economic Forum held in the town of Delphi, Central Greece, Retsos highlighted that Greece’s sea and sun model “needs to be enriched” since travelers are seeking for new experiences.

SETE’s president also underlined the need for Greece to apply management practices that would allow destinations to evolve further but at the same time become sustainable for both residents and tourists.

Further analyzing SETE’s action plan for Greek tourism into 2030, Retsos highlighted the following:

– Greece needs to proceed with investments in infrastructure including ports, airports but also in waste management, public utilities networks etc.

– The country needs to enrich its tourism product. “Greek tourism has evolved beyond the sea and sun model and its now time to make its tourism product more attractive,” Retsos said.

– “Travelers seek for new experiences,” Retsos reiterated during the forum and explained:

“Greece has the resources: its endless cultural heritage, unique landscape, gastronomy and – more importantly – people… Travelers’ connection with locals matters and scores high in their traveling experiences.”

Digital transformation is equally important. According to Retsos, tourists seek for digital services in all stages of their traveling activity and this is a great challenge that Greek tourism should meet.

– In addition, skills and training are considered highly important both for tourism employees and entrepreneurs.

Yiannis Retsos participated in a session titled “National Strategy for Tourism 2030” along with Bank of Greece (BoG) Governor Yiannis Stournaras; Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias; SEV Deputy President Spyros Theodoropoulos; INSETE General Manager Elias Kikilias and Marketing Greece CEO Ioanna Dretta.

The role of primary production in tourism

During the forum, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias underlined the need to further involve Greek primary production in tourism activity.

“This would further enrich the product sought by visitors coming to our country and offer multiple benefits to Greece’s economy,” he said.

Vassilis Kikilias

SEV Deputy President Spyros Theodoropoulos also agreed that Greek producers should participate in the promotion of Greek tourism and referred to the younger generation that during the previous years moved to the countryside and set up small agrotourism businesses.

“These are people with vision… setting an example that we should all follow and become proud providers of tourism services in Europe,” he said.

Action plan for Greek Tourism 2030

During the Delphi Forum, INSETE General Manager Elias Kikilias presented the institute’s “Greek Tourism 2030 | Action Plan”, a study conducted by Deloitte and Remaco.

According to the study, under certain conditions, Greece could increase the number of visitors to the country by 27 percent by 2030 (with an average annual increase of 3.5 percent) to 50 million, up from 39 million in 2019.

Furthermore, revenue from Greek tourism could rise to an annual 27 billion euros from its record figure of 18 billion euros in 2019 (up by 52 percent).

Commenting on the study’s findings BoG Governor Yiannis Stournaras said its targets for 2030 were “realistic” and stressed the importance of connecting all tourism activities with the creation of modern infrastructure, as well as proceeding with digital reforms and green development practices.

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About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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