ECONOMY

Investment in tourism still strong

Tourism investment projects covered by the investment incentives law have exceeded the 1,000 figure in the last three years, with a total budget of 3.4 billion euros. Greek National Tourism Organization data for the period May 2005 – May 2008 show that the number of projects subsidized under the law’s provisions reached 1,062, with total subsidies amounting to 1.5 billion euros. In total, 105,285 hotel beds have been modernized while 34,091 new beds have been created. The realization of the investment programs has resulted in the creation of 10,114 new jobs. The data illustrate that investment interest in Greek tourism has not subsided, while it is also important that a large number of projects involve quality tourism and hotel installations. A significant number of new beds in four- and five-star hotels have been created, bridging the gap with the lower categories in Greece. This trend bolsters optimism about a further upgrading of tourism infrastructures in the country, although critics say that new beds may upset the balance in the market and lead to an oversupply. Some hoteliers argue that funds should instead go toward improving the public infrastructures that serve tourism.