ECONOMY

State is Greek tourism’s main obstacle

state-is-greek-tourism-s-main-obstacle

The Greek tourism product suffers where it depends on the state mechanisms, and competitiveness with international markets is lost as a result, even though it enjoys very high rates of satisfaction in comparison with rival destinations as far as most other criteria are concerned.

According to a survey by Greek Tourism Confederation’s Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts, the rate of travelers who have been to Greece once and intend to revisit the country is lower than that of rival destinations.

Data showed that only 36 percent of foreigners who have vacationed in Greece see themselves coming back, against an average of 46 percent in rival destinations such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Turkey and Croatia, even though those other countries scored lower in tourists’ main satisfaction criteria.

The survey, titled “Assessment of the ‘Greece’ Brand,” which was presented in Athens on Wednesday, showed that the hospitable character and friendliness of locals, accommodation, sense of security, gastronomy and natural beauty are the top five satisfaction criteria for tourists visiting Southern Europe.

Greece beats its main competitors in all five of the above criteria, offering very high visitor satisfaction according to the 6,543 interviews conducted among people who have vacationed in Southern European, 10 percent of whom had traveled to Greece.

Nevertheless Greece lags its rivals considerably in other aspects of the travel experience, such as the cleanliness of destinations, supply of information, unruly town planning, ease of access to airports, road infrastructure and the experience offered at archaeological sites. What all these criteria have in common is that they are directly or indirectly related to the state or the local authorities under whose responsibility they fall.

That has made visitors to Greece more reluctant to return, compared to holidaymakers who travel to neighboring states; the institute argues that this could change if more innovative experiences were offered.