It is a great pleasure to be here and have the opportunity to address the Management Conference of ΤUV Nord Group.
The success story of our industry is widely acknowledged.
Despite the crisis, and even during it, the Greek tourism sector continued to achieve its targets and support the Greek economy both in financial and social terms.
Indeed, in 2019, tourism proved to be the key driver of economic growth in our country.
Our sector continues to be one of the leading contributors to GDP and to local communities.
Still, Greek Tourism can no longer be only an observer of the new changing global travel market condition.
Our future strategy should focus on destination’s maturity, which simultaneously is linked to sustainability, innovation, technology and culture.
Along the way, it is useful to observe already successful models and adopt, where appropriate, international best practices.
At this point, we should highlight the industry’s commitment and efforts to make destinations more attractive: to live, work and visit. To secure viability, we need to invest on sustainability. Our first aim is to set a mindset of sustainable growth.
In this context, the certification schemes can support tourism through:
a) sustainability health check
b) raising the awareness of various benefits and
c) scalability of sustainability.
Businesses that invest on sustainable growth and related certifications, see a real return on investment.
Reducing energy and water consumption, along with waste production, lower operational costs.
In addition, various surveys show that tourism companies with a sustainability certification report higher levels of guest satisfaction.
And there are several reasons for this. For example, the staff feels prouder, offering a more authentic customer service.
By making sustainable choices, travelers also feel making a positive impact. We must have in mind that consumers are showing increasing awareness and concern about issues, such as waste and human exploitation, when travelling.
At the same time, locals support the businesses that really care about the economic and social wellbeing of their community. And the wellbeing of the residents enhances the traveler’s experiences.
Furthermore, companies that adopt certification schemes are dedicated to a continual self-improvement process.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The certification schemes reinforce the scalability of sustainability.
Tourism experience is a puzzle. Every piece must fit the big picture, a sustainable place.
The big picture is completed when everyone changes its business attitude and behavior in a structured way.
In this context, SETE’s operational branches, Marketing Greece and SETE Institute pursue our product’s quality upgrade, setting that as our main goal. This can be achieved by:
- Providing market with strategic information, as well as knowledge and study of good practices internationally. Two recent examples are the release of recycling toolkits from INSETE and the Launch of the ZERO waste campaign from Marketing Greece.
- Investing in human resources; the workforce is the great competitive advantage of Greek tourism and its quick adaptability to current and future trends, guarantees the sector’s successful evolution.
- Linking tourism to other sectors of the economy in order to disseminate its benefits and enrich the tourist experience, with an emphasis on gastronomy and culture.
In all the above courses of action, the development of certification criteria contributes to the quality upgrade of services. These criteria contribute to the safeguard of our tourism product. In the same way, TUV and other certification companies, support from their perspective theevolution of tourism in Greece.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Greek Tourism Confederation, SETE, is working towards the implementation of a thorough plan aimed at improving the standards of the tourism Greek experience.
It is our duty to continue to support the Greek economy and ensure a better future for generations to come.
Thank you for your attention and best wishes for a very successful conference.