During the 2nd “Tourism & Development” Conference, which was held today in Vouliagemni, SETE made a proposal to allocate a percentage of all profits of the Hellenic Tourist Properties company (not just casino profits) to promote Greek Tourism.
One of the main points of the 1st Session of the Conference, on the subject of: “Orientation of the Greek Tourism’s Development Path”, was SETE’s proposal for a potential re-examination of the country’s separation into investment zones, aiming at a symmetrical regional development and a better spatial distribution of tourism activity.
The 1st Session’s conclusions also include the fact that in 4 of the 10 largest countries – sources of international tourism, Greece has a very weak presence. The main reasons are the deficient promotion and the inadequacy of airline connections. These reasons are also the greatest obstacles for the market’s penetration into China.
Aiming at a more efficient market mix, and based on the size of outbound tourism and the per-capita GDP, Greece must set a priority to expand to the markets of Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy and to maintain its share in the UK, Netherlands and Sweden. According to the greatest revenues criterion, the forms of tourism and the market segments where priority must be given are golf, spas, conferences, yachting, the elderly and sports tourism. These special forms bring between 35% to 70% more revenues per visitor and contribute towards addressing seasonality.
From the 2nd Session, on the subject of: “The role of tourism in policies to increase employment and deal with unemployment”, it is worth mentioning the conclusions of a study by the University of Piraeus on behalf of SETE, that the increase of employment in tourism over the 1980-1997 period is calculated at 87%, compared to 9% in industry and a 15% decrease in processing. It is also estimated that by 2010 tourism will create around 140,000 new jobs and will absorb at least 30% of our country’s unemployment.
In the 3rd Session on the subject of: “Developments in air transport and their effects on Greek tourism”, special emphasis was put on the fact that the assurance of free access to newly arrived airlines that go to Greek destinations, without restrictions by bilateral agreements and the saturation of the airports, is one of the conditions for the development of airline services and ground handling in our country. Over-protectiveness not only restricted, but it actually “drove away” or did not allow the development of (airline and ground handling) services, which had our country as a destination. It is further worth nothing that low-cost airlines can create an increase of airline demand by up to 400%, with such airlines expected in 2003 to expand to the markets of Germany, France and Italy.