Investing in Brand Name ‘Greece’ Key for Future of Tourism, Say Experts
Diversifying the tourism product on offer and investing in Greece’s strong reputation as a leading tourist destination are key to taking the sector into the new era, said Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos and Public Properties Company (ETAD) CEO Stefanos Vlastos during a forum organized by economics magazine Economikos Tachydromos (OT) on the sidelines of the 86th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) this week.
Referring to the unprecedented success of the 2022 tourist season, Retsos said tourism had been “saving the day” for Greece since 2012, “working against the tide and developing at the same time with other segments of the economy”.
This year despite the difficult first three months, Retsos expects tourism revenue to exceed pre-Covid 2019 levels by 600 million euros or in the worst case scenario reach 19 billion euros. “High revenues will help us take the next steps,” he said.
Retsos stressed that tourism professionals and stakeholders will have to finally “break out of automatic pilot” and announced that a strategic plan for tourism into 2030 had already been tabled to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in order to decide on priority infrastructure to benefit from RRF funds.
Referring to city break holidays, Retsos said they were still impacted by the Covid shock and will need to time to recover but he expressed confidence that short holiday breaks “are a strong product with great potential”.
On his part, Vlastos said it was a good year in terms of supply for hotels and added that ETAD was aiming to put to tourism use all eligible public properties among which the iconic Xenia hotels, for which he said tenders were underway.