2007 was a good year for tourism globally, with an average increase of 5-6% in international arrivals. The prospects for 2008 are good, and another 4-5% increase is expected. At the level of revenues (international tourism income) in 2007 there was also a 3-4% increase globally, whereas in Greece it is estimated at only 2.5%. This proves that despite three consecutive years of improvement, Greek tourism has still not stabilised at high levels of performance. This was one of the key messages of the 6th “Tourism & Development” Conference of SETE, on the subject of “The dynamic of changes in global tourism. How much do they affect us? What is our reaction?”.
According to data from the IPK International Travel Monitor, among the causes of the decreased performance of Greek tourism to date, is the unfavourable quality-price ratio of lower category hotels. It was clarified however that we don’t need more hotels in those categories, but that the existing ones must significantly raise the level of their equipment and services. Also, the low penetration of technology and the use of the internet for the offer of integrated services and products in the entire spectrum of the tourism chain does not help Greece become a notable presence in modern distribution channels. Moreover, the fact that Greece was very late in trying to attract low-cost airlines has already cost it a market share, mainly in city tourism and sight-seeing tourism.
Particularly as regards air transport, while during the 5 past years the demand for air travel increased globally by 28%, in Greece the respective increase was limited to 18%. Despite this increase, the share of Greek airlines in the respective period dropped from 32% to 25%.
Global air traffic in the next 15 years is expected to double, with Asia taking up 32%, Europe 27% and North America 25%.
For Greece, it is estimated that in order to cover this demand up to 2025, there will be a need for 62 new airplanes, and 21 of those already in operation, with an estimated investment cost of 4.9 billion USD.
The conference works were completed with a speech by the Minister of Tourism Development, Mr. Aris Spiliotopoulos during the Official Dinner.