“Bets” on agreements, synergies and “turn to quality”
Repetition of the “Greek miracle” that is extended until November – as the German press recently wrote, our country wants to ensure for 2022, when it hopes to achieve the total restoration of tourist sizes in 2019.
Mr. Vassilis Kikilias with his statements to Sky essentially confirmed the “long Greek summer”, talking about an active tourist season until the 16th of next month in Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, but also Athens – Thessaloniki and announced new moves to increase flights and at the same time to strengthen the city break in continuously operating destinations that have been hit hardest during the crisis.
“The signs are encouraging, but we need to restrain ourselves, because we must not be carried away by dithyrambs as long as the vaccinations are ‘stuck’ and as long as we need to shed weight on other factors, such as our infrastructure that has reached its limits.” , point out nevertheless, market executives, ringing the “bell” for the durability of our tourist product and in fact, in the near future.
“Difficulties are starting now”
This year’s success raises high expectations, while Mr. Kikilias says he is “moderately optimistic” under the condition of teamwork in the same component that will upgrade the quality and bring more income and jobs. He emphasizes, however, that the job“He is a Minister of Tourism now, in autumn and winter”, implying that success can not be cyclical, but must be based on good preparation.
At the same time, top officials say that “now the difficulties begin.”
“This year has been unpredictable. We did not expect what happened. Our forecasts were much lower than the apparent result this year.
So next year it seems that things will be even better and maybe we will reach the numbers of 2019 “, admits from his side Mr. Giannis Retsos.
The head of SETE, speaking at the panel of the conference of the Circle of Ideas on “Greece After V”, however, referred to another great challenge: “Because in order to be able to endure as a tourist destination, accepting so many people for a long time more than a year, we need to increase the quality of our product.
And to increase the quality of our product, we must connect the activity with other sectors.
If we do not improve, for example, the materials we offer to our tourists, we can not remain competitive.
And to do this we must definitely interconnect with the Greek primary sector and production. This is a huge challenge, because it also wants a change of mentality, but it also wants a common field of understanding to be found on both sides “.A “miracle” that needs synergies
The issue that emerged most during the crisis may be that of hypertourism.
Destinations such as Mykonos or Santorini or even smaller islands, saw their infrastructure “bend” when they were called to manage within two months the same volume of visitors that sometimes saw it in twice the time.
What could happen, for example, if Greece welcomed 33 million tourists again last year, as happened in 2019?
“If we want to continue to see growth, we must first of all manage these destinations, obviously improving the infrastructure.
And on the other hand we, as individuals and as service providers, to improve our product to such a level that we now accept more foreign exchange with the same people or even with less people. This is a huge challenge of course.This to happen requires tremendous synergy.
It is not just the work of the central government.
“A lot of weight falls on the local government, a lot of weight falls on the private sector”, explains in simple words, the president of SETE.
Confrontation with “mature” competitors
Greece is expected to receive more intense pressures of the year, when all countries will enter the arena of competition.
Mainly Spain, but also Italy and Portugal, are considered “mature” opponents and of course, they will not sit “with folded arms”.
Recently, TUI highlighted Greece, but also Cyprus and Turkey as the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean for the next season, while its top executives agreed yesterday with Mr. Kikilias to start the Group’s activity in selected Greek destinations from end of March – to which more than 3 million visitors aspire to lead again.
Tourists estimate that our country still stands out from its competitors in terms such as friendliness, food, accommodation and even security, but lags behind in matters related to public infrastructure, lack of travel experience, the situation in archeological sites, cleanliness or anarchic construction, while now the climate crisis has highlighted the importance of the environmental sustainability of destinations.
Executives from the field of tourism point out that the multiplier effect of the “heavy industry” in the economy could entice other sectors to grow, since its international competitiveness and its rapid reflexes are maintained at higher levels than the whole of Greece. economy.