Greece relies on maritime tourism to support the economy

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Greece relies on maritime tourism to create added value for the Greek tourism product, growth opportunities and new jobs for local communities, said Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development Olympia Anastasopoulouduring the 5e Mare Forum Mykonos.

Anastasopoulou said that maritime tourism could be a powerful engine for the national economy with a estimated contribution of 1.4 to 1.5% to the country’s GDP. She adds that the sector’s indirect contribution is four to five times greater.

Improving port and marina infrastructure is crucial for continued growth, which Anastasopoulou says is central to a new ministry marketing strategy that also aims to speed up the upgrade processs. In this sense, the Ministry’s Tourist Port Committee will meet to speed up decisions regarding nine ports in Greece.

Greek Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development Olympia Anastasopoulou.

Greek Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development Olympia Anastasopoulou.

Finally, Anastasopoulou said that the ministry is focusing its actions on ensure sustainable tourism development on the islands. She said the priority now was to take into account each island’s carrying capacity, available energy and water resources, waste and water management capacities, and the particular ecosystems, species and landscapes that must be preserved in order to ensure a balance between tourism and the local standard of living.

“The reception capacity of the islands is inextricably linked to the development of sustainable tourism and the reduction of the natural, economic and socio-cultural impacts caused by the phenomena of overtourism which create significant negative effects on the level of visitor satisfaction”, a- she declared.

In this sense, Anastasopoulou referred to the importance of a bill tabled in parliament last year by the ministry which specifies the operating procedures of the destination management and promotion bodies (DMO) which will be financed by the funds RRF and may focus on tourism development, viability and sustainability, protection of the natural environment of each destination, promotion and management of local quality labels, the possibility of establishing observatories of sustainable tourism development, “with the ultimate goal of preserving the natural and cultural wealth of the country”.

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