Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed tourism as one of the most important sectors in which Greece enjoys significant comparative advantages over rival destinations and called for a 10-year plan that would boost competitiveness, innovation and sustainability.
“A tourism product whose top priority is not environmental protection is inconceivable for Greece today,” Mitsotakis said during a meeting with officials at the Tourism Ministry in Athens on Thursday, in which he gave them a six-month deadline to prepare a strategic plan.
“We want the private sector, which has propped up tourism throughout the crisis, to be involved,” Mitsotakis said, stressing that tourism authorities will have to work with other ministries in order to “implement significant strategic initiatives.”
“Our job is to make sure that things which have never been done before are finally done. That's why we need clear timelines and clear goals,” the prime minister said.
For his part, Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis stressed the need for regulations to “bring some order” to the short-term rental market, which has exploded all over Greece in recent years, but also steps to bolster tourism professionals with better education options.
“We need a world-class system when it comes to tourism education,” Theocharis said.
The minister added that the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) will have to reach out to the private sector in order to design a new model for promoting the country that will “send the right message to the right people.”