Reinventing Greece for holidaymakers

Greece must develop alternative forms of tourism if it wants to keep attracting millions of Greek and foreign holidaymakers to the country, the industry’s top officials said recently. Cultivating new ways to bring in vacationers to boost one of Greece’s top moneymaking industries may also help create jobs in rural or regional parts of Greece, where the population has been declining for years. Government and industry officials say they don’t plan to abandon the traditional sun-and-sea model that has become the country’s signature style. Enhancing tourism But they do plan to develop other types of tourism, including cultural (mainly archaeological sites, museums and monuments), religious, and athletics/sports facilities. Officials are also planning tourism-related initiatives centered on education, the environment, agriculture, trekking, horse riding, wine, therapy and spas, scuba diving, gastronomy and winter sports. The Greek rural tourism organization, Agrotouristiki, hopes to play a role in developing agritourism. This kind of rural tourism combines agriculture with exploration of the local area. It can be a model of sustainable development by providing small-scale infrastructure and services that boost economic growth without damaging the environment.