Πέμπτη, 26 Νοεμβρίου 2020

Greece in Process of Forming 10-year Strategic Plan for Tourism

 


The Greek government is in the process of putting a 10-year strategic plan for tourism in place following the country’s performance as a safe destination in summer 2020, according to Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.

Speaking on Monday during the 4th International Hospitality Forum (IHF), held in a digital format by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) and Phocuswright, Minister Theoharis said that Greece’s decision to ‘open’ its tourism market this past summer, in the midst of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, showed results and led to a huge success story.

“None of us will reminisce 2020 in the future with positive feelings, as it is a year in which tourism has taken a serious blow at a global scale. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that we need to turn to the light and not let ourselves get lost in the darkness. Every big crisis can turn into a big opportunity if we focus on the light,” the minister said.

“Especially for Greek tourism, for the professionals and the employees involved in the sector, the current health crisis has already worked as an opportunity to allow conscientiousness, dutifulness – filotimo – and caring for our fellow human beings to shine through,” Theoharis said.

 Referring to Greece’s tourism performance in the summer, the minister said the country accommodated approximately 5 million foreign visitors, enforcing health and safety guidelines that were almost meticulously adhered to.

“Based on full-proof evidence, the number of confirmed COVID cases was minimal, down to a mere 0.03 percent among the tourists,” the minister said.

According to Theoharis, the sector’s performance led Greece to the top of all tourist destinations in Southern Europe.

“The health and safety protocols were followed without fail by all the hotels and therefore we managed to strengthen, more effectively than ever before, the brand ‘Greece’,” he said, adding that the country created significant credibility and trust reserves, which it can capitalize on in the tourism seasons to follow.

 10-year strategic plan

At this point, Minister Theoharis announced that the tourism ministry is already in the process of putting a 10-year strategic plan in place.

“Tourism changes incessantly. The new facts require adjustments, innovation and creativity so that Greece can maintain the leading role it has conquered. Alongside this role, tourism can maintain its vital surplus value for the national economy as well for society at large,” he said.

As underlined by the minister, the 10-year strategic plan for Greek tourism needs to be coordinated with the priorities of the RRF (Recovery & Resilience Fund). Based on these priorities, new funding tools will be formulated starting in 2021 and for the years to follow.

The minister then emphasized the importance of two terms: sustainable growth and digital reform – the two themes of the 4th IHF.

“The thematics of this forum are to-the-point regarding sustainability as well as the rapid integration of new technologies in all aspects of the global tourism market… These two factors will determine the touristic future of our country. They will thus safeguard that Greece remains securely at the top of global tourism in the years to follow,” he said.

“The virtual organization of this event further testifies to the unshakable fact that our future is digital,” Minister theoharis added.

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