What’s next for Greece tourist attractions
Greece is gearing up to launch an ambitious tourism program to attract tourists to the country amid a record influx of tourists.
Greek Tourism Minister Georgios Papandreou said Friday that the government plans to offer incentives to companies and tourists to help them get the word out about the Greek economy.
Papandreou is visiting Athens to announce the plan and the government is expecting more than $3 billion in private investment in the next five years.
Pep Guardiola, the tourism minister, said in a speech in the southern town of Thessaloniki that the plan will include “social investment,” such as offering incentives to tourists, which could include discounts for their return trip to Greece.
The tourism industry is struggling to cope with the unprecedented influx of people, with many of the tourists who make the trip back to Greece from abroad returning home with only the clothes they were wearing.
The new plan aims to get Greeks and visitors together, he said.
Pavors is also hoping to raise the tourism budget to $20 billion this year.
He said the new plan will be implemented in phases over the next 10 years, adding that the goal is to make the Greek tourist experience “the most attractive in the world.”
Papas said his government plans not to spend any of the money it raises on tourism, but rather to invest it in improving the country’s infrastructure and providing economic opportunities.
The ministry will make a formal announcement about the program at a news conference.
Greece’s economic problems were once the envy of the world, but the government has been working to reverse that trend, including privatizing the public sector and cutting taxes and regulations.
The country’s tourism industry has been battered by the country s economic slump, with its gross domestic product (GDP) declining more than 10 percent over the past five years, a drop of more than 30 percent.
Greece’s economy shrank by 2.2 percent in the year ending in April.
Pensioners and the elderly are among the hardest hit by the downturn.
More than 80 percent of Greece’s public sector workers are aged over 65.