Zoning reforms for tourism projects


A draft bill that was put up for public consultation on Monday features a raft of amendments to zoning laws aimed at facilitating major investment projects in the tourism sector.

The bill, that was compiled by the Tourism Ministry and is to be debated until March 9 before it goes to Parliament, foresees the imposition of restrictions on private plots adjacent to those being developed as part of major investment projects, as well as the use of forestland for the creation of golf courses and even, in exceptional cases, the use of coastal land, which had previously been characterized as public land, in major tourism projects. 

The legislation foresees the creation of “special protection zones” around the perimeter of the land on which a major tourism project is being developed. Within these zones, which can include part of adjacent plots, restrictions can be imposed on land use and construction.

The bill also aims to boost diving tourism, which remains relatively undeveloped in Greece despite its wealth of underwater treasures, including marine life and shipwrecks.

The Environment Ministry was not involved in drafting the reforms, which are likely to provoke reactions from conservation groups