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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-02

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece can become first power in Europe in tourism sector, prime minister says

  • [01] Greece can become first power in Europe in tourism sector, prime minister says

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressed the Regular General Assembly of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) on Tuesday, stressing that in the years to come Greece can become the first power in Europe in the tourism sector and in leisure travel.

    Karamanlis said that in providing quality tourist services Greece can have tourism 12 months a year, adding that "the tourist product is bound to its country. It is the experience of Greece."

    The prime minister further spoke of an unprecedented upsurge in the international prices of fuel that is pressuring European, western and developing economies, while having a negative impact on growth rates, the implementation of state budgets, competitiveness and inflation. He further said that there is vigilance, realistic assessments have been made and the government is "forging ahead with prudence and a sense of responsibility".

    "It is an extremely important fact, in any case, that from the first moment of the New Governance, we had scheduled and are promoting, with speedy rates, the new energy policy," Karamanlis said.

    Giving an account of work accomplished in the tourism sector during the two-year period of the new governance, the prime minister said that Greece now has a concerted tourist policy with a plan, strategy and specific targets, with the creation of the tourist development ministry proving the government's interest in tourist affairs.

    Karamanlis further said that with the target of prolonging the tourist period and attracting high-level tourists, interventions are being promoted that concern the upgrading of administrative support for tourist development at national, regional and local level.

    Lastly, referring to the investments sector, the prime minister said that about 480 investments plans have already been submitted in the tourism sector and more than half of them have been approved with a budget that exceeds 560 million euros.

    SETE President Stavros Andreadis said on his part that "the role of the tourist development ministry is continuing not to being understood and accepted by the wider public sector to the extent that is essential" and stressed the need for coordinating actions with the aim of achieving effectiveness in tourist policy.

    Commenting on tourist movement, Andreadis said that the negative trend for Greek tourism has been reversed which in 2005, compared to 2004, achieved an increase of about 4.7 percent in arrivals and 6.7 percent in revenues.

    Tourism Development Minister Fani Palli-Petralia expressed her conviction that in the coming years Greek tourism will be "many steps higher than it was in 2004", adding that the ministry has classified targets that must be achieved to enable Greece to become one of the leading tourist destinations in Europe with a 12-month duration.

    Referring to the question of tourist investments, Petralia said that the ministry is speeding up the implementation of investments included in the 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF) and the development law and a modern operational programme is being prepared to enable tourism to have a leading role in the investment capital of the 4th CSF.

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