The Greek Tourism Ministry has the upgrade of the country’s tourism ports among its priorities and is planning to use 160 million euros from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) to cover works related to infrastructure and digitization within the next three years, according to Secretary General for Tourism Policy Olympia Anastasopoulou.
Speaking during the recent 7th Delphi Economic Forum in Delphi, central Greece, Anastasopoulou said the project for the upgrade of Greece’s tourism ports should be completed by December 2025.
It is reminded that the ministry has secured a total of 320 million euros from the RRF to strengthen Greece’s tourism product.
“Unfortunately, only 37 tourism ports are operating in Greece, out of a total of 168. We wish to change that.… We are now updating Greece’ national policy and proceeding with legislative amendments in order to simplify and accelerate procedures,” she said.
According to the secretary general, these amendments aim to differentiate and extend the tourism season; encourage the development of new energy-efficient infrastructure; streamline the regulatory and operational framework in order to simplify and accelerate spatial and licensing procedures; and introduce new standards and schemes for tourism management.
The project foresees the following:
• infrastructure upgrades to meet the market’s advanced requirements and maintain competitiveness
• the certification of green marinas based on international standards
• the digitization of all tourist port facilities/services
• the upgrade of existing facilities so they are accessible to all visitors.
In addition, Anastasopoulou said the RRF would provide Greece with the financial tools needed to create high standard infrastructure for maritime tourism and yachting.
Other forms of tourism expected to benefit from the RRF tool include mountain activities, health, wellness, diving, gastronomy and agrotourism. A large sum will also be allocated to ensure easier access to beaches for people with disabilities.
Greece a top yachting destination
During the forum, Anastasopoulou also referred to Greece having the features of Europe’s most attractive sailing destinations.
Christies Real Estate has placed the Greek islands in second place worldwide for luxury yachting after the French Riviera, behind other significant destinations such as the Virgin Islands, Palm Beach in Florida and Italy’s Costa Smeralda.
Furthermore, Greece has become a top destination for super yachts. According to data by Bloomberg, the country hosted a total of 194 yachts in June 2021 from 80 a month earlier – in May.
“Tourism is a national affair. We must implement a national strategy for the short, medium and long term, by 2030,” Anastasopoulou concluded.