Greek tourism enterprises are counting on government incentives, including tax breaks and subsidies, to move forward with sustainability objectives, found a study released this by Deloitte and INSETE, the Greek Tourism Confederation’s (SETE) research body.
According to 62 percent out of a total of 204 SETE member tourism enterprises – including transport services providers, accommodation, DMC, tour operators, travel agents, and conference organizers – the main deterrent to investing in green practices is the high cost.
At the same time, 89 percent of those surveyed said tax breaks and subsidies would motivate tourism services providers to implement sustainable programs.
The study includes four proposals to would accelerate sustainability actions and initiatives in Greek tourism and that must be included in tourism policies from now on:
– the formulation of location-specific and national level strategies which include targeted incentives in this direction
– the creation of a comprehensive national sustainable tourism program that will include certification schemes, specific sustainability targets, measurement and reporting systems, and tools for tourism businesses across the entire value chain
– support for small and very small tourism businesses across all sectors through financing, training and skills development, awareness, measurement and reporting of sustainability indicators, certifications, etc
– optimizing the regulatory framework for sustainability in the sector.
Key takeaways of the study include:
– the majority of those polled said they are already implementing or intend to adopt at least one measure of environmental (80 percent) and socio-economic (77 percent) sustainability
– sustainable practices for the majority of Greek tourism enterprises focus on energy management (91 percent), waste (61 percent) and water resources management (60 percent)
– 73 percent of respondents said they have not set a target to reduce carbon emissions for 2030, while 34 percent said they were in the process of doing so
– 52 percent of Greek tourism businesses said they do not participate in strategic partnerships or alliances to promote sustainability
– 60 percent do not measure sustainability claiming they don’t have the necessary knowhow to do so
– 78 percent of surveyed companies have not adopted sustainability reporting practices, tools and standards and have no intention to do so in the immediate future
– 55 percent of the businesses surveyed do not have any sustainability certification, while 50 percent are not interested in acquiring any new certification.