Greece Meets Conditions to Become Health Tourism Destination
Greece could potentially attract 100,000 tourists seeking medical, health and wellness services who would generate more than 400 million euros annually said Greece’s Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development, Olympia Anastasopoulou, during this week’s Global Wellness Economy Forum held in Athens.
Citing data from studies carried out by the Athens-based Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) with the support of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH), Anastasopoulou said Greece met all the conditions to evolve into a leading health and wellness tourism destination.
“It is possible [for Greece] to increase its share in the wellness tourism market through specific marketing and promotional actions,” she said during this week’s event jointly organized by the Greek Health Tourism Council Elitour, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Enterprise Greece, the tourism and health ministries and the Attica Region.
Among Greece’s main advantages, she said, were the excellent climate, the natural environment – ideal for rehabilitation and recuperation, high-quality medical services, highly experienced scientific and medical staff, top-notch hotel infrastructure and competitive rates compared to most Western European countries.
In parallel to promotional and marketing actions, Anastasopoulou said it was vital to create tourist products that link wellness and health with gastronomy as well as with sports and cultural experiences which would cater to all ages.
Skyros holidays, established in 1979, was the very first holiday resort to introduce the concept of learning holidays – initially in the field of personal development – that challenged radically the ‘fly and flop’ holidays prevalent at the time. Skyros was also the very first to embrace and develop the concept of holism, which at the time was confined to the field of alternative medicine. Its courses and activities included, as they still do, health & wellbeing, yoga, writing, art, windsurfing, personal development, abseiling, trapeze, dance, music and singing and much more. They are all designed to open the heart, expand the mind, recharge the body and uplift the spirit.