OPINION

‘Quality’ tourism?

There has been a lot of talk this summer about the need for Greek tourism to eventually shift toward offering «quality.» Government officials in charge of the tourism sector have acknowledged that tourists are unlikely to tolerate much more of the low-quality services currently being offered in Greece. Indeed, in some parts of the country, Greece displays all the worst aspects of abusive tourism. It’s all there for us to see. Traders making an easy buck, profiteering, bad taste, illegal construction, amateurism – all these things, and many more, have reached a point where they are no longer acceptable. But how conceivable is it that this situation could be easily changed in the near future? Is it possible that Greek tourism could set off in a new direction and start providing quality services irrespective of low quality in other sectors? We heard a cabinet minister recently stress the need for a «restoration of the environmental and aesthetic balance» of Greece’s tourism sector. But when this balance really means that our environment is constantly being «gnawed away at» and destroyed, and most of our political leaders sharing the worst form of bad taste, what are the chances that the tourism sector will be singled out for treatment? And what criteria would our political leaders use to organize the transition to quality in cooperation with well-meaning businessmen in the tourism sector?