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Annual investment of 3.3 bln euros can take arrivals to 24 million

By Stathis Kousounis

The investing momentum in Greek tourism will grow along with an increase in political stability, the implementation of reforms and the restoration of the local credit system’s normal operation, the head of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, has told Kathimerini.

He notes that according to the SETE road map, Greece can achieve up to 24 million arrivals from abroad per annum after seven years, and revenues ranging between 18 and 19 billion euros that will boost the economy by 9 percentage points if there are investments of 24 billion euros by 2021 – i.e. 3.3 billion per year. Some 4 billion euros of that could come from European Commission subsidies and the rest from the private sector.

“We are expecting to hear about the country’s growth plan for tourism from the prime minister at SETE’s general meeting on Wednesday, while Greece will present its overall strategy for growth at the Eurogroup on May 5,” said Andreadis. He added that the sector has carried out detailed preparation regarding target markets and tourism products that can attract customers, as well research into the necessary infrastructure per region.

According to the SETE chief, what will be needed, in addition to prudent utilization of the small EU subsidies, to strengthen the extrovert sections of the economy is considerable moves toward an improved, stable and attractive tax system and the amendment of the investment incentives law as well as its application.

For this year, Andreadis estimates Greece will exceed its targets of 18.5 million international visitors and 13 billion euros of tourism revenues. He stressed there are 1.5 million additional air seats planned for Greece this year, half of which are scheduled for Athens Airport. The rises in bookings from all markets are in the double digits, and even domestic tourism is showing some clear signs of a rebound.

The only questions remaining about the country’s tourism performance this year concern the crucial markets of Turkey, Russia and Ukraine, concluded Andreadis.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday April 27, 2014 (21:46)  
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