The nexus of actions and policies of the Ministry of Tourism through which the conditions will be created for a new beginning for Greek tourism, was described by the responsible minister Olga Kefalogianni in her speech.

At the same time, he informed the Parliament of the optimistic indications that 2023 will close with excellent results, as, according to the data available to date, there is a significant increase in arrivals and revenues, which it seems will surpass those of 2019 – until today a landmark year for tourist traffic, while the minister emphasized that the estimates for 2024 “allow us to be optimistic”. Referring to the government’s initiatives for the affected areas, Mrs. Kefalogianni said that the ministry is working on the faster implementation of a special incentive framework to stimulate tourism in the affected areas.

Regarding the institutional interventions to upgrade the country’s tourism product, he made special mention of the introduction of a new framework for the simplification of procedures related to the licensing of the country’s tourist infrastructure, such as tourist ports and thermal springs, for which it will be followed the logic, based on which the licensing procedures for all tourist accommodations were simplified in 2013-2014. He mentioned at this point, that the directions given by the National Spatial Framework for Tourism will contribute to the upgrading projects of the tourist infrastructure as a whole. As he informed, the plan will immediately be put to public consultation, so that the signing of the relevant Joint Ministerial Decision can then proceed. Soon there will be an important text that will give directions and set rules for the use of land in tourism activity, added the minister and underlined that this is a framework of crucial importance for the State, the Local Government, and especially the tourism market and the investment capital.

Also in the direction of ensuring the sustainable development of destinations, as informed by Mrs. Kefalogianni, the specialization of the institutional framework for the operation of Destination Management and Promotion Organizations has been launched.

“We thus seek to create and define a new governance model in Tourism, in which the private sector, the central government and the local government will be involved and cooperate. We also aim to strengthen the resilience and upgrade the image and identity of Greece as a tourist destination destination of global impact” he emphasized and added that the planning of the Ministry of Tourism for the promotion and promotion of the tourist product takes into account the trends in international tourist demand, demographic developments, new consumer standards, but also the dynamics of new markets.

As he underlined, based on a new approach and with new tools, we will highlight in a modern communicative way the differentiating characteristics of the country’s tourism offer for the coming years.

Presenting the initiatives for Tourism, he emphasized that the targeting is focused on creating a tourism product model of sustainable development and at the same time attractive and competitive in the international environment.

“With a vision and goal of the sustainability of the destinations and the tourism product and guided by moderation and balance, respect for people, local communities and the natural and cultural environment, our strategy includes a detailed action plan” said the responsible minister and he added that it responds to four main objectives:

• To promote the sustainability of our destinations

• To improve the competitiveness and diversification of the Greek tourist product.

• To upgrade tourism education and training

• And in strengthening the promotion and visibility of the Greek tourist product

At the same time, he said that the promotion of accessibility in tourism is an additional key objective that runs horizontally through all policies and initiatives, so that everyone can enjoy the unique travel experiences that our country has to offer equally, without discrimination, and without exclusions .

As he pointed out, based on these principles and in line with our central objectives, we are proceeding to take advantage of a unique opportunity, which is presented with the resources available from the Recovery and Resilience Fund, totaling around 387 million euros.

The actions

He informed that in this context the projects planned and implemented are structured in four Actions:

– Action for “Tourist Development”, with a total budget of around 321 million euros, which includes projects aimed at diversifying the tourist product and lengthening the tourist season, as well as encouraging the development of new infrastructure, as well as the introduction of new standards and forms of governance for tourism.

In this context, a project is being implemented that seeks the most efficient and comprehensive management and promotion of the individual destinations of the country. The tender process for the first contract of the project is already underway, which aims to prepare the studies for the establishment of Destination Management and Promotion Organizations throughout the territory and the modernization of the tourist infrastructure, with a view to further highlighting the natural wealth of our country, but also the expansion of tourist activity beyond the tourist peak months, as well as the promotion of accessibility.

Specifically, four calls for expression of interest from potential beneficiaries have already been published, for projects that mobilize resources of approximately 210 million Euros, concerning the upgrading of existing ski centers and mountain refuges,

the upgrading of tourist ports and the improvement of accessibility to Greek beaches. In addition, at the beginning of next year, the implementation of the project regarding the promotion of health and wellness tourism will begin, through aid actions for the upgrading of existing and the creation of new spa facilities tourism. At the same time, projects are planned to promote diving tourism and agro-tourism.

– Action concerning “Tourism Education” and includes projects to upgrade the skills and reskill thousands of seasonal workers, long-term unemployed, as well as workers in the Tourism sector.

– The third Action concerns the “Digital Transformation of the Register of Tourism Businesses” with projects that aim to accelerate the digital transformation of the units of the Ministry of Tourism and mainly to improve the services provided to citizens and tourism businesses.

– Finally, the Action for the “Digital Transformation of the Hellenic Tourism Organization”, includes projects that aim to provide visitors with even more qualitative and up-to-date communication information.