“This is a plan based on sustainable development, diversification of the tourism product, season expansion, the emergence of new destinations, the enhancement of the value added product, which will lead to salary raises for the sector’s workforce; and strengthening the country’s image in international markets,” Minister Theoharis said while speaking in parliament.
As underlined by the minister, Greece’s strategic tourism plan for the 10-year period of 2021-2030 is based on seven pillars:
- Adequate access to attract more tourism flows in the coming years.
- Evaluating and improving private infrastructure and its sustainable management and development.
- Evaluating and managing the guest experience and improving public infrastructure.
- The improvement of tourism education and training.
- Product development and promotion.
- Launching collaborations with tourism stakeholders.
- Dealing with gaps in tourism legislation.
During his speech, the minister referred to successful actions for the country’s tourism since the new government took over.
“Actions that have brought significant deals in the tourism field with the launch of new air routes for 2020, such as the Shanghai-Athens and Bahrain-Mykonos routes,” he said.
Moreover, the minister referred to the announced Doha-Santorini route and to the new strategic investments that recently received the “green light” from the inter-ministerial committee and which are expected to create some 2,000 new jobs in the tourism industry.
Citing data, the minister said that in the nine-month January – September 2019 period, tourism revenue exceeded the revenue recorded throughout 2018. The data also showed that during the corresponding nine-month 2017 period, tourism revenue was down by 200 million euros from the total revenue of 2016. Minister Theoharis added that in the first the nine months of 2018, tourism revenue was 500 million euros less than the revenue recorded for the whole of 2017.
“All this while we managed to manage Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy with provisions for the benefit of businesses and employees,” he said, referring to the rise in tourism revenue this year.
In addition, the minister announced that Greece’s new tourism campaign for 2020 will launch by the Greek National Tourism Organization in January. “This is the first time the country’s tourism campaign is starting so early,” he underlined.
Referring to the ministry’s goals for the new year, the minister underlined the promotion of sustainable tourism as a priority.
“From now the Tourism Ministry will go ‘plastic free’ to pass a message for the environment,” he said.
Also, making major changes to Greece’s tourism education, promoting accessible tourism for people with disabilities, attracting more investments and focusing on new digital tools for the promotion of new businesses are also high on the ministry’s agenda for 2020.