Op-Ed: Alexandros Kachrimanis on Epirus tourism
In a developing tourism period in Greece and Epirus, the pandemic of Covid-19 caused radical reorganizations in the sector of tourism, bringing also multiple operational weaknesses. The war in Ukraine is also an additional factor, composing a very difficult environment for the world economy which affects tourism as well.
Nevertheless, the indications are particularly encouraging for the current tourism season in Epirus, both for summer and winter season.
However, in order to have a leading role as a country and as a continent in the new tourist environment, we should stand out the most with our comparative advantages and improve the provided services to visitors and tourists. We have done it successfully so far and we are further intensifying our efforts in the coming years, for the visitor of Epirus to become the destination’s “ambassador” when he returns home.
Epirus in recent years is rapidly raising the level in tourism. The highways, the two airports of Aktiο and Ioannina and the port of Igoumenitsa have made Epirus easily accessible. At the same time, we improved the environmental infrastructure, we upgraded the provided services and we developed new alternative forms of tourism to facilitate every interest in every season.
We consider that tourism must be combined with other sectors, such as local products and gastronomy. This is a policy that we have been promoting systematically for several years and as it is pointed out in the study of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), it has the ability for further development.
For the Region of Epirus, the SETE study of “Greek Tourism 2030” is a useful guide for integrated planning aimed at the time expansion of tourism, its better distribution, digital transformation, infrastructure improvement and protection of sustainability and environment that is of great importance and value for Epirus.
Many of the strategic actions proposed by the study have already been implemented by the Region, while several others are in progress or are being prepared. This is satisfying, but our responsibility increases to move even faster, also with the appropriate support of the Government.
Moreover, in order to have the desired result, the Greek State must contribute by taking initiatives – described in the SETE study – with major infrastructure projects, the Municipalities and the tourism institutions. Only then, we will be competitive and achieve our goals against competing destinations for the benefit of the local economy.
Regional Governor of Epirus
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