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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-05-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Samaras: 2014 will be another record year for tourism

  • [01] PM Samaras: 2014 will be another record year for tourism

    ANA-MPA -- Prime Minister Antonis Samaras forecast that 2014 will be another bumper year for tourism, while addressing the 22nd open general assembly of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) on Wednesday evening. Outlining the government's plans for boosting tourism, he stressed that "the sick residues of the past are over, we are proceeding finally towards a Greece of growth."

    Samaras said that 2013 was a record year and that this record will be broken in 2014. Appealing to the people of tourism, he urged them to "prepare to receive more than 20 million tourists".

    The prime minister said that tourism constitutes 15 pct of the Greek economy, of which 7 pct was its direct and 8 pct its indirect contribution to GDP. He added that the positive repercussion of national strategy on tourism can increase annual demand by 10 billion euros over the next five years and 25 billion euros in the next 10 years, while it will create 220,000 jobs. These do not concern the far future, they have started and they are becoming practice, he said.

    Samaras underlined preconditions foir the unimpeded further development of tourism and aimed barbs against the main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, without naming him directly.

    The prime minister noted that, while 2013 had seen record arrivals, the government was proceeding with a plan to restructure and upgrade the sector in order to extend the tourism season and increase per capita tourist spending by attracting higher-income tourists.

    He stressed the need to penetrate markets such as Russia and China, where Greece's share was currently low, and develop organised tourist products such as theme tourism, religious tourism, medical tourism and marine tourism.

    Listing measures planned by the government to achieve this goal, Samaras referred to spatial planning issues for Greek beaches and forests, facilitating the issue of licences and privatisation for marinas, lowering currently high tourism-related taxes and improving links with Greek destinations, both from within the country and abroad. He also emphasised plans to upgrade the centre and sea front of popular cities and towns for tourism, starting with Athens.

    Stressing that work on achieving these goals had already begun, the prime minister said that the government will be investing half a billion euros on infrastructure for the next six years, while the private sector was expected to invest three billion euros.

    "We have a comprehensive plan for what must be done and what it must achieve for the next years. There are 13 actions we are promoting, including a change in the direction of commercial strategy, developing quality infrastructure and increasing investments, boosting cruises and marinas, facilitating visa issue and reduce airport fees," he said.


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