ECONOMY

Tourism professionals attack government

Tourism professionals accused the government on Monday of being unable to grasp the significance of their sector for Greece?s fiscal rebound.

The Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE) issued a statement saying that the recent denial by the Finance Ministry to approve a 50 million euro payment for the Greek National Tourism Organization to pay its dues to the media (40 million) and to promote Greek tourism (10 million) is testimony to that. This decision, SETE suggested, means that Greece and its tourism product have no advertising promotion at all, reducing the chances this country might have to increase the number of arrivals. Greece will therefore be unable to tap into the opportunity in the international tourism market from the troubles in rival Mediterranean destinations.

SETE also referred to other issues such as revenues from casinos that do not go to Greece?s promotion but to covering other needs, and the Culture and Tourism Ministry funds (about 80 million euros) that will not go into hosting the 2013 Mediterranean Games (the event is taken away) and could go into advertising.