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Resilience and sustainability the main challenges for Greek Tourism

The new national strategy for tourism introduces policies for the sustainable development and enrichment of the tourism product with a new approach and new tools, including the innovation and upgrading of tourism education.

The 5th Greek Summit “Greek Tourism, a National Affair!” was held with great success on December 5 in Athens, Greece. Leading government and opposition party representatives, members of the political leadership and society, as well as academics and leading market executives contributed to the Conference, exploring the new and existing challenges that Greek Tourism is facing amid the climate crisis and historic geopolitical developments.
    
In an interview with Nikos Hatzinikolaou, Editor and Director of Realnews, the Minister of Tourism, Olga Kefalogianni, stressed that Greek tourism has been a driving force in attracting new investments in recent years, in both popular destinations and in less prominent areas. “We don't stop, and we don't get complacent. International competition is coming back strongly, but the planning of the government and the ministry lays strong foundations for the future of Greek tourism, fostering conditions for development”, Mrs. Kefalogianni stated. As she pointed out, the new national strategy for tourism introduces policies for the sustainable development and enrichment of the tourism product with a new approach and new tools, including the innovation and upgrading of tourism education.

The Deputy Chief of Mission at the French Embassy in Greece, Alexandre Diebolt, emphasized that Greece is “a success story in Europe today” owing to its unique natural beauty and culture. “Tourism is a source of prosperity. Greece has proven itself resilient during the pandemic" he pointed out and noted that the country's performance is even more remarkable if one also considers the effects of the climate crisis.

The Minister of Environment & Energy, Theodoros Skylakakis, commented on the spatial planning issues that the government is called upon to resolve in view of its rapid development. He pointed out that “we have climate change that requires us to invest in resilience," adding that if temperatures continue to rise in the summer months, it will become even more difficult to promote the tourism product. "We must move quickly, in a coordinated manner and with common sense,” he added.

“If I had to choose the two biggest challenges of the next decade, I would say that the first is how we will be able to adapt to the consequences of the climate crisis and deal with this phenomenon. It is a fundamental issue that affects the very survival of Greek tourism”, stressed the Secretary General of the Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT), Dimitris Fragakis. “The second is how we will be able to expand the tourist product throughout the country -the spatial and temporal expansion of the tourist product in the next 10 years".

The president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Alexandros Vassilikos, stressed the necessity for large investments, such as those seen today in our country. "We need a well-balanced approach to everything. The private sector has advanced by leaps and bounds. Greece has become a country of high-quality hotels. The same is true in gastronomy" he pointed out. 

The President of the Panhellenic Hoteliers Federation, Ioannis Hatzis, also referred to the balanced development of the tourist product in Greece, noting that the annual revenue records and arrival increases are not the only indicators of Greek tourism’s positive trajectory.

The Conference was organized by Next is Now and Dome Consulting, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Tourism and the Greek National Tourism Organization.
 

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