INSETE: Making Sustainability Part of Tourism Policy Vital for Greece
Incorporating sustainability practices into Greece’s tourism policy is crucial if the sector is to remain resilient in view of emerging changes and challenges, said INSETE this week, highlighting ways this can be achieved.
The Greek Tourism Confederation’s (SETE) research body presented a set of proposals to improve Greece’s ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Development Index which in 2021 placed Greece in 28th spot – the same as in 2019 – out of 117 nations.
Compared to rival nations however, Greece is lagging behind. Indicatively, Spain was ranked 3rd, followed by France in 4th spot, Italy (10th) and Portugal (16th). Other competitors such as Turkey ranked below Greece in 45th spot followed by Croatia (46th).
Among the 117, countries, Greece ranked 42nd in the “Enabling Environment” subindex, 20th in “Travel and Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions”, 19th in “Infrastructure”, 31st in the “Travel & Tourism Demand Drivers” and 51st in “Travel & Tourism Sustainability”.
“The TTD index demonstrates the imperative need to integrate the principles of sustainability and resilience into the planning and management of the sector as it rebuilds after the pandemic,” said INSETE.
INSETE goes on to underline that as one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, Greece must take the necessary actions that will improve its overall ranking.
Based on SETE’s “Greek Tourism 2030 | Action Plans”, INSETE suggests a series of actions centering on five strategic goals: improving and developing infrastructure, upgrading and promoting the tourism product, moving ahead with the sector’s digital transformation, ensuring environmental protection and sustainability, as well as enhancing skills and developing entrepreneurship.
Other proposals include:
-accelerating the sector’s digital transformation and the digitization of services and education to ensure rapid adaptation to new technologies
–education, training, adoption of new practices in the labor market that will increase productivity in the hospitality, F&B and transport sectors
-increasing Greece’s air connectivity
-enhancing the strategic promotion of Greece and the destination brand
-upgrading the road network
-promoting access to public transport
-registering more natural world heritage monuments in Greece and increasing the number of registered cultural monuments of world heritage as well as ensuring the protection and promotion of traditional practices and knowledge
-targeted promotion of alternative forms of tourism
-limiting pollutants, effective wastewater treatment, protection and promotion of the natural environment
-improving the quality of life in cities and urban centers
-ensuring the targeted distribution of tourists to decongest saturated tourist areas, expanding the tourist season, and increasing of the length of stay.