Monday April 27, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
What kind of tourists do we want?

By Alexis Papachelas

The sight of thousands of visitors from countries around the world strolling around the streets of central Athens is a sheer delight.

It feels as if the city is coming alive, with hotels often operating at full capacity while there are high expectations that this year will prove one of the best ever for the Greek tourism sector.

Nevertheless, the country ought to move away from its obsession with figures when it comes to tourism. Setting the bar high and talking about 13 or 14 million visitors is undoubtedly a positive stance. Yet like any other serious country that depends on the tourism sector, Greece must also set quality targets, for instance setting the bar high in terms of per capita revenue and figuring out exactly what type of tourists we wish to attract.

This requires an effort on a national level which will be based on specific goals and an overall plan. Looking back, “Greece in crisis” was promoted as “special-offer Greece,” given that a bankrupt country tends to be a rather low-budget destination as well.

The country needs the kind of systematic and fearless rebranding that will render it hip again and which will be addressed to the sort of niche audiences it seeks to attract.

There is a danger, however, which must be avoided. Anyone visiting leading destinations such as Santorini and Myconos, for instance, will observe how these islands are bombarded by very low-budget cruise ship visitors. This translates into thousands of people who tend to spend very little and cause overcrowding. This in turn drives away those who pay large sums of money for accommodation in the same places in the hope of getting away from it all and relaxing at an exclusive destination. A quick look at the various websites hosting visitors’ views on a number of local spots demonstrates that mass tourism and luring high-end visitors do not necessarily go hand in hand. Solutions do exist, however, and have been put to the test in Italy, among other countries. These are based either on imposing restrictions on the number of buses and visitors that are allowed to visit a particular place at any one time or even by charging per visitor.

Local authorities are often hesitant about imposing such restrictions, fearing the reaction of those who depend on revenues from the sale of low-budget products.

Generally speaking, the country needs a national plan for the sector. The state has shown interest while the local industry has capable leadership with a vision and the fortitude. What is missing is a plan and, above all, a setting of targets with regard to what kind of tourism the country is after.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday May 13, 2014 (22:05)  
If Greece falls, no one wants their prints on the murder weapon
Reaching crunch time
Personal sacrifices
Five years ago
Anastasiades, Akinci speak and look towards fresh push in peace talks
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has spoken to the new Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci with a view to restarting reunification talks after Sunday’s run-off elections in the occupie...
Greece’s day of reckoning inches closer as debt payments loom
Greece will look for ways to assemble enough cash to pay its pensioners and employees this week, after euro area finance ministers on Friday said they won’t disburse more aid until bailout ...
Inside News
Pensions will not be cut, insists social insurance chief
The government will not back down in its resistance to lenders’ calls for cuts to basic or auxiliary pensions, insists general secretary for social insurance Giorgos Romanias. “There is pres...
EU Commission to revise down Greek growth forecast
The European Commission plans to significantly revise down its growth forecast for Greece this year, its Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis was quoted as saying on Sunday. "In winter we expec...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Panathinaikos beats Xanthi to rise to second
Panathinaikos jumped back up to the second spot of the Super League after its home win over Xanthi on Saturday, as PAOK slumped to third due to its draw at home with PAS Giannina on Sunday. ...
WATER POLO
Olympiakos wins Euro crown in women´s water polo
The women’s water polo team of Olympiakos won its first ever LEN Euro League at the Final Four it hosted in Piraeus by beating holder Sabadell from Spain 10-9 in Saturday’s final. After defe...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Anastasiades, Akinci speak and look towards fresh push in peace talks
2. Pensions will not be cut, insists social insurance chief
3. Greece’s day of reckoning inches closer as debt payments loom
4. Akinci elected Turkish-Cypriot leader, raising hopes of peace deal on island
5. Panathinaikos beats Xanthi to rise to second
6. EU Commission to revise down Greek growth forecast
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece’s day of reckoning inches closer as debt payments loom
2. Pensions will not be cut, insists social insurance chief
3. Anastasiades, Akinci speak and look towards fresh push in peace talks
4. Greek tourism threatened by various factors
5. Agenda
6. Merkel, Tsipras agree to stay in touch to reach debt deal
Today
This Week
1. Greek government's popularity takes a hit as talks drag on
2. Europe's collision course with Greece
3. It's up to the Greek government to ensure deal with lenders, says ECB's Coeure
4. Leaving the past in the past
5. Denialism
6. The price of compromise
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.