Government and private sector working in unison
From subsidizising small businesses to raising the calibre and capacity of hotels, diversifying the tourism offer is the goal
Elena Kountoura, Minister of Tourism, calls the current government and private sector’s joint effort to diversify Greek tourism a “365-days tourism” approach. A whole host of sub-sectors are being developed, from medical tourism to business travel. The Ministry has launched a program subsidizing small- and medium-size tourism businesses by up to 50% in their efforts to modernize, deploying a total budget of €90 million.
Yiannis A. Retsos, President of SETE – the Greek Tourism Confederation – says “We have packaged destinations like Rhodes, Crete, Santorini and Mykonos, which are well-known worldwide and have their own brand name, but also thematic products like MICE, religious tourism and adventure tourism.”
Massive investments in hotels will help raise the quality of all offers. Andreas A. Andreadis, CEO of Sani/Ikos Resorts, says “we need to build about 100,000 new 5-star hotel beds and increase the percentage of 4 and 5-star beds from the current 42%.” In the Olympic year of 2004 it was 25%. “We want luxury hotel beds to be over 50% of the total offer by 2021,” he says.
Grecotel, the largest Greek hotel chain, will continue to inject money into the sector as President Nikos Daskalantonakis explains: “we have an investment plan of €100 million for the next 3 years, starting with the opening of a new boutique hotel in the historical center of Athens at the end of this year.”