OPINION

Taking care of our key industry

It’s time to face facts: Tourism is the country’s heavy industry.

The sector’s considerable contribution has served as a stabilizing factor for the local economy, essentially placing the country back on the path to growth.

Athough tourism has been keeping unemployment from rising, our efforts to put this major Greek comparative advantage to optimum use leave much to be desired.

While the country’s museums are now open to visitors for longer hours, their shops are reminiscent of Soviet-era retail spaces.

At the same time, red tape and a number of pending issues are holding up the development of new hotel establishments. Meanwhile, airports across the country have only just entered the privatization process, a move that will change the first impressions of travelers arriving at major tourist destinations’ entry points.

The current government has made considerable efforts with regard to this vital sector. However much more remains to be done to stop the country from sliding back into a state reminiscent of the bad old days.