OPINION

Wasted opportunity in tourism

Greece spent a lot of money and went to a great deal of effort to the host the Olympics. It earned a reputation and began attracting a growing number of tourists. But it failed to make the best of this heritage. Where to start? With the rotting «Olympic» infrastructure? The «Olympic» coastline of Faliron, which looks like a garbage dump? Popular island airports that are badly run and improperly maintained? The prices in Greece compared to the competition? The fact that instead of organized marinas, visitors are told to drop anchor at dirty ports that offer no services? The majority of foreign visitors compare their experience of Greece with the warm welcome and high quality of services they receive in Turkey and along the Dalmatian coast, much to our chagrin. It is high time that the state, local authorities and individuals cast their minds back to the steps taken by Constantine Karamanlis in the 1960s to make Greece a popular tourist destination. They must take similar bold steps in that direction, or else Greece will find itself a laggard in a sector that is extremely crucial to its economy.