Greek Tourism: Minister Kountoura Expects Positive 2016 Summer Season

Giannis Vermiso, Tourism Ministry Press Officer; Dimitris Tryfonopoulos, GNTO Secretary Basic; Elena Kountoura, Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura; Yiorgos Tziallas, Tourism Coverage and Growth Secretary Basic; and Gerasimos Zaharatos, Tourism Ministry Deputy Secretary Basic.

Greece’s tourism business is anticipated to put up progress this 12 months, Greek Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura stated on Tuesday throughout a press convention in Athens.

“Greek tourism is shifting in direction of high quality and we’re selling Greece as a novel vacationer vacation spot, essentially the most aggressive vacation spot in Europe with regard to worth for cash”, she stated, including that the ministry is letting the world know that the Greek islands are protected locations with genuine thematic tourism experiences throughout all 12 months of the 12 months.

Throughout her first official press convention to Greek journalists, Minister Kountoura referred to current figures that counsel an upward development in bookings to Greece for this season with will increase starting from 4 to 30 p.c from all markets, besides the Netherlands.

Citing knowledge from the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, the minister stated Greece has already recorded a 5 p.c improve in worldwide arrivals throughout the first 5 months of the 12 months. Current knowledge from Athens Worldwide Airport has revealed a 5 p.c improve in overseas passengers within the first six months of the 12 months.

When referring to arrivals from Russia, Ms Kountoura stated that Greece had the truth is “misplaced” bookings from that market as a result of “technical” drawback within the issuing of visas that occurred over the past week of Could. Russian tour operators had knowledgeable on the time that losses had reached as much as 30 p.c. Nevertheless, based on the Greek Nationwide Tourism Group (GNTO), six main Russian tour operators not too long ago knowledgeable that bookings for Greece are at present exhibiting a rise from 30% to 60%.

Though Greece’s goal is to welcome over a million Russian vacationers this 12 months, Ms Kountoura stated that any improve in arrivals over 650,000 (final 12 months’s determine) can be thought of optimistic.

Ms. Kountoura additionally offered the ministry’s technique to advertise Greek tourism in overseas markets and particularly referred to focused actions to spice up guests from Europe, America, China and the Center East.

Following an announcement of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras final month, the tourism ministry is anticipated to obtain double funding — to the tune of 20 million euros — to advertise Greece’s picture and tourism extra successfully to international locations overseas.

Through the press convention, the minister knowledgeable that in an goal to deal with the “underground financial system” created by unlicensed short-term dwelling leases, the tourism ministry and the finance ministry have drawn up a brand new coverage framework that’s anticipated to be tabled in parliament this month.

“From our aspect we’re searching for for the brand new context to be available in the market’s finest curiosity, simply relevant and tailored to the particularities of the Greek vacationer market”, she stated, including that the finance ministry will be sure that taxation (to be imposed on short-term dwelling leases) shall be affordable and honest to the skilled market and that inspections will happen and fines handed out to those who don’t comply.

Furthermore, having the extension of Greece’s tourism season among the many ministry’s major priorities, Ms Kountoura introduced the creation of a brand new division for thematic types of tourism. The brand new division shall be answerable for launching particular packages in Greece to advertise pilgrimage tourism, spa tourism, medical tourism and winter tourism.

She additionally knowledgeable that the ministry was specializing in selling spa tourism and thermalism in Greece. Already the ministry has licensed 90 thermal springs all through the nation. Additionally, via laws, the ministry has completely solved the complicated licensing process that existed for enterprises working thermal amenities. “The goal is to introduce new spa locations in Greece”, the minister stated.

On his half, GNTO’s secretary common, Dimitris Tryfonopoulos, knowledgeable that the group has obtained double funds for promotional actions, totaling 13.65 million euros, scheduled for the second half of 2016 and for 2017.

Based on Mr. Tryfonopoulos, the GNTO has held 83 familiarization journeys from the start of the 12 months and has additionally accredited 421 annual tourism promotion packages and actions in Greek areas and municipalities.

As well as, throughout the press convention, the deputy secretary common of tourism, Gerasimos Zaharatos, introduced the creation of a Tourism Satellite tv for pc Account, anticipated to be in service by the top of the 12 months. He additionally stated that the ministry plans to reopen the nation’s tour information colleges by 2017.

With regard to tourism funding in Greece, the secretary common for tourism coverage and growth, Yiorgos Tziallas, knowledgeable that 15 new vacationer lodging complexes are within the playing cards via the ministry’s particular service for the licensing of tourism investments (EFPATE).