Destination investment and management key to Greek tourism growth, says SETE chief


President of SETE Yiannis Retsos

Investments, destination management, digital transformation and new experiences are key for the sustainable growth of Greek tourism in 2030, according to Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yannis Retsos.

Speaking at the 7th Delphi Economic Forum held in the central Greek city of Delphi, Retsos stressed that Greece’s sea and sun model “needs to be enriched” as travelers seek new experiences.

The President of SETE also highlighted the need for Greece to apply management practices that would allow destinations to further evolve while becoming sustainable for residents and tourists.

Further analyze the SETE action plan for Greek tourism until 2030, Retsos pointed out the following:

– Greece must pursue investments in infrastructure, including ports, airports, but also in waste management, utility networks, etc.

– The country must enrich its tourism product. “Greece tourism has evolved beyond the sea and sun model and now is the time to make its tourism product more attractive,” Retsos said.

– “Travellers are looking for new experiences“, reiterated Retsos during the forum and explained:

“Greece has the resources: its endless cultural heritage, its unique landscape, its gastronomy and, most importantly, its people… The relationship of travelers with locals matters and stands out in their travel experiences.

Digital transformation is equally important. According to Retsos, tourists are looking for digital services at all stages of their travel activity and this is a big challenge for Greek tourism.

– Besides, skills and training are considered very important for both tourism employees and entrepreneurs.

Yiannis Retsos participated in a session titled “National Strategy for Tourism 2030” with the Governor of the Bank of Greece (BoG) Yiannis Stournaras; Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias; Vice-president of SEV Spyros Theodoropoulos; Director General of INSETE Elias Kikilias and CEO of Marketing Greece Ioanna Dretta.

The role of primary production in tourism

During the forum, Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias stressed the need to involve more Greek primary production in tourist activity.

“It would further enrich the product sought by visitors coming to our country and provide multiple benefits to the Greek economy,” he said.

Vassilis Kikilias

Vice-president of SEV Spyros Theodoropoulos also agreed that Greek producers should participate in the promotion of Greek tourism and referred to the younger generation which in previous years had moved to the countryside and created small agrotourism companies.

“These are people with a vision… setting an example that we should all follow and become proud providers of tourism services in Europe,” he said.

Greek Tourism Action Plan 2030

During the Delphi Forum, Elias Kikilias, Director General of INSETE, presented the « Greek Tourism 2030 | Action plan”a study conducted by Deloitte and Remaco.

According to the study, under certain conditions, Greece could increase the number of visitors to the country by 27 percent by 2030 (with an average annual increase of 3.5%) to 50 million, up from 39 million in 2019.

In addition, Greek tourism receipts could reach an annual turnover 27 billion euros from its record figure of 18 billion euros in 2019 (up 52%).

Commenting on the findings of the study, BoG Governor Yiannis Stournaras said his goals for 2030 were “realisticand highlighted the importance of linking all tourism activities with the creation of modern infrastructure, as well as digital reforms and green development practices.

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