As part of efforts to boost yachting, recreational and professional boating activity in Greece, Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development Olympia Anastasopoulou confirmed this week that 160 million euros would be channeled into marina and port infrastructure works and upgrades.
Speaking during the Olympia Forum III organized by the Delphi Economic Forum in partnership with Patris newspaper, Anastasopoulou said efforts were being made by the ministry to veer away from the traditional sea and sun tourism model towards a more sustainable industry paradigm.
“In terms of infrastructure, 160 million euros have been allocated towards the upgrade of tourist ports which will include digitization and interconnection… as well as towards actions meeting climate change and green energy requirements,” she said during the “Airports, Ports, Railways, Connectivity & Regional Development” panel discussion.
“Our goal is to capitalize on the country’s good reputation in order to achieve a high quality and longer lasting tourist season,” she said underlining the importance of effectively channeling RRF funds.
Through the Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF), Greece’s tourism sector will benefit from both reforms and investments. Among other things, Greece is modernizing the institutional framework that concerns maritime tourism and is directed towards tourist infrastructure with a focus on tourist ports and marinas, she said.
Anastasopoulou has repeatedly referred to the key role that the development of yachting and sailing tourism can play in this direction. The new framework, she said, will simplify procedures for investors undertaking port and marina infrastructure projects which will be adapted to the new ‘greener’ and digitized era.
Greece’s shipping ministry announced earlier this year that a new regulatory framework covering yachting operations had been approved in parliament, paving the way for the development of the sector.
Greece stands to gain 2.9 billion euros just from the creation of 5,164 new berths, a recent study found. At the same time, Greece is among the most popular global destinations for recreational sailing. However, analysts have repeatedly pointed out that little has been done to tap into the vast potential of marinas and ports as well as into boatmaking activities, noting that of the country’s 168 tourism ports only 37 are currently operating and many are still lagging behind in infrastructure upgrades.