The main conclusion of SETE’s 5th “Tourism & Development” Conference on the subject of the investment policies for Greek tourism, was that the country’s attractiveness as a tourist destination must be improved, by upgrading the quality of life through the “Axios Vios” concept.
The “Axios Vios” concept is based on the uniqueness of the Greek experience at lifestyle level, in combination with the standards and values created by the globalised society. The new approach to investment planning imposes that the tourism concept must be expanded in order to include beyond the simple dimension of summer holidays, also the multidimensional provision of leisure time experiences.
According to the study by Messrs V. Patsouratis, professor at the Athens University of Economics, and G. Anastasopoulos, assistant professor of the University of Patras, over the 2002 – 2004 period, the decrease in arrivals and revenues, as well as the relevant lack of investments, had at least the following consequences:
a. limited the increase of tourism’s contribution to the GDP, with losses reaching 5.5% within a three-year period.
b. loss of 65,280 jobs.
c. limited the contribution of tourism to the decrease of the balance of payments, in other words the deficit could be further decreased by 18%.
d. restricted the development of other sectors of the economy, on which tourism demand has a multiplier effect and
e. decreased the profitability of businesses and held back wages and salaries.
It is worth nothing that according to the study, during the 1990-2006 period, on average on an annual basis, only 1.6% of the public investment program (PIP) funds is directly related to tourism.
The conference concluded that Greek tourism is in need of a new strategy with main focus the orientation of entrepreneurship towards investments and product/service/experience provision, covering a season that is constantly elongating within the year, using the main product (sun and sea) as a necessary condition, but not capable of attracting demand. This means that a portfolio of products must be created, which will either on its own be a reason to visit our country and/or will cover the lifestyle needs of prospective tourists.