Greece Sees Yachting as Powerful Tool for Economic Growth
Greece has all the features that make it one of the most attractive destinations for yachting and cruise tourism in Europe, according to Olympia Anastasopoulou, the Tourism Ministry’s Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development.
Speaking on Thursday during the launch of the 19th East Med Multihull & Yacht Charter Show at the port of Poros, Anastasopoulou highlighted that coastal and maritime tourism can be a powerful tool for the development of Greece’s economy as their total contribution amounts to around 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP, while the indirect contribution is considered to be four to five times higher.
Highlighting the potential of establishing Greece as a luxury destination for yachting, Anastasopoulou cited data released by Christie’s International Real Estate, a global network offering exclusive home and luxury real estate services to buyers and sellers worldwide.
According to the Christie’s network, the Greek islands are placed as the second best destination worldwide for luxury yachting, only behind the French Riviera and above destinations such as the Virgin Islands, Florida’s Palm Beach and Italy’s Costa Esmeralda.
Priority: Improving infrastructure of tourist ports, marinas
Underlining that the Greek government has its sights set on further developing maritime tourism, the secretary general said that the ministry’s focus is to improve the infrastructure of tourist ports-marinas and also place maritime tourism at the top of priorities in its marketing strategy.
In the last year, the ministry has progressed on making improvements to infrastructure at 27 tourist ports in Greece with resources from the Recovery Fund.
“We will see another Greece by 2025 in the field of tourist ports,” Anastasopoulou said.
It should be noted that the Greek government, in order to promote an investment-friendly legal framework to increase the country’s competitiveness in the field of maritime tourism infrastructure, introduced a number of changes through Law 4926/22 including the simplification of licensing; the establishment of a legalisation procedure for existing tourist port facilities; and the possibility of increasing under certain conditions the building ratio within the allocated tourist ports (with Law 2160/1993).
Moreover, during her speech, Anastasopoulou added that tourism is the steam engine of the Greek Economy, as 25 percent of the country’s GDP comes from the sector.
Referring to this year’s tourism season, she said that initial indications of tourist traffic to Greece are extremely encouraging.
Trends influencing course of Greek tourism
Citing data from the new issue of the series of conjunctural studies “The Trends of Entrepreneurship” of the Directorate for Economic Analysis of the NBG, Anastasopoulou said Greek tourism this year seems to accelerate its pace further as it is favored by the parallel influence of two trends:
– strong desire to travel: Despite the contractionary effect of inflation on disposable income, the trend towards “revenge travel” that prevailed immediately after the Covid-19 pandemic seems to dominate. In addition, consumer confidence in Greece’s key markets appears to be gradually recovering, further boosting the appetite for travel from both within the EU and further afield (with the upward trend in a range of 6 to 16 percent).
– high preference for Greece: The country attracts strong tourist interest, being the first choice for 5.8 percent of Europeans this year (compared to 4.4 percent for 2022) regarding their next trip to Europe. At the same time, interest in early bookings in Greece is 70 percent higher compared to 2022.
Running until May 8, the 19th East Med Multihull & Yacht Charter Show on Poros is a crewed charter yacht show with a main focus on multihull vessels. The yacht show is considered a major attraction for Greek and foreign yacht charter brokers, travel agents, tour operators, journalists and correspondents for the most prestigious magazines promoting yachting and maritime tourism worldwide.
The 19th East Med Multihull & Yacht Charter Show is organized by the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association (HPYOA).