Tourism looks to tap China

By Stathis Kousounis

The Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE) has sent a letter to the Tourism Ministry outlining the steps Greece should take to facilitate and accelerate the issuing of Schengen visas that will further bolster the influx of visitors from fast-growing tourist markets such as China.

SETE says visas should be issued within 48 hours of application submission, while the multiple visa issue system should be based on the rule providing for a single-use visa upon the first visit to Greece, a one-year multiple visa upon the second and a three-year multiple visa the third time a person visits the country.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), China was the biggest contributor to global tourism in 2012, accounting for travel expenditure of $102 billion.