How can tourism bring more income to the Greek economy?

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Greece’s competitive advantage in specific forms of tourism, compared to its competitors, is to be exploited in order to create the conditions which will permanently increase tourism income.

In addition, increasing tourism receipts is a long-term strategy of the public and private sectors, in the tourism sector, because any development (positive or negative) is reflected in the economy, but also in society in general. The position expressed by the President of the Association of Greek Tourism Companies, Giannis Retsos, within the APE-MPE is typical, namely that “nobody remembers the arrival numbers and nobody sets goals. arrival. Everyone is aiming for income, with all that that entails. for upgrading the tourism product.

In order to highlight the points that will give a boost to tourism revenues, the Athenian / Macedonian news agency has sought the opinions of organizations involved in the tourism economy.

Maritime tourism and senior tourism, combined with medical tourism, can increase tourism income

Dr Faye Makantasi, head of research at diANEOsis, notes in APE-MPE, that the tourism that attracts Greece is largely one-dimensional and speaks of lost opportunities which, if used, will provide significant income and thousands jobs. “At diANEOsis we have been doing research in the field of departure cruising, for senior tourism and health tourism and a few days ago we published our latest research on marinas and tourist ports. “A common component of all this research is that Greece is a country with a particular dynamic in these fields, but the progress which has been made in their development and their exploitation is limited”, specifies the head of research of diANEOsis.

Greece could earn 13.6 billion euros from senior tourism and 600 million euros from operating tourist ports

The country could notably gain 13.6 billion euros and 173,000 additional jobs in five years thanks to senior tourism, the sale of housing and long-term stays for foreigners, medical and spa tourism. Respectively the sizes come only from wellness tourism, which is mainly aimed at healthy people, offering various services to improve their mental or physical health, as pointed out by Dr Faye Makantasi.

In the case of tourist ports and marinas, the strategic management plan proposed by the diANEOsis survey could yield up to 5,164 new berths, generating 600 million euros – directly and indirectly – with additional annual income and 8 , 5 thousand additional permanent jobs.

It is estimated that the average elderly traveler spends 1,500 euros per trip, while each business yacht costs 105,000 euros.

An important parameter that determines the total tourism income is the per capita expenditure of foreign visitors. It is estimated that the average elderly traveler spends 1,500 euros per trip, almost three times the cost per average visitor (535 euros in 2019, according to the BoG), not counting long-stay seniors – who rent or buy a house – underlines Dr Faye Makantasi.

In fact, the average sick traveler is accompanied by another person and together they spend around 5,000 euros per trip.

As for the cruise, a very indicative element of the situation in Greece is that, according to the estimates before the pandemic, in 2021, the cruise would bring back about 10% of the tourists coming to Greece, but only 3% of its tourist receipts. Another indication that there is room for improvement is that while each cruise ship arriving in Barcelona – the most developed cruise port in the Mediterranean – generates € 1 million in revenue in the city, Greece, the average income per approach is less than 142,000 euros. . Thus, Greece only has a 2% share of Mediterranean cruise revenues, while its share of approaches is 11% and passengers 8%.

Finally, in terms of the contribution of marinas and tourist ports, according to the latest estimates (2019), each private yacht that has docked in Greece spends on average 22.6 thousand euros and creates 1.54 indirect jobs, while each professional yacht costs 105 thousand euros and creates 3.19 direct and indirect jobs.

It should be noted that in the country in 2019, a total of 23.5 thousand yachts moored (6.1 thousand professional and 17.4 thousand private).

Christina Tetradi: The hotel can play a leading role in creating added value for the national economy

Meanwhile, the catalyst is the role of entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry, in the national effort to increase tourism revenues. “The hotel has a timeless offering for the local community and must and can play a leading role, creating added value for the national economy and the prosperity of local communities,” notes the vice president of XE and president hoteliers from Zakynthos Christina Tetradi at the APE. -MPE.

Christina Tetradi explains that if hoteliers disengage to a certain extent from the grip of the Engagement and Allotment contracts of Tour Operators, they can target the potential customer who books one trip at a time via online booking platforms. and by researching hotel websites. thus maximizing profitability per customer.

He specifies that the existing all-inclusive packages can be enriched with additional services with high added value for the client (private swimming pool, specialty meals, etc.), with all that this implies to increase the cost per inhabitant of the visitor in the hotels.

At the same time, the search for inspiring ways to increase the revenues of the hotel unit appears as a privileged opportunity to develop synergies with the local business communities, says Christina Tetradi. There are now many all-inclusive sightseeing packages that include tasting evenings for visitors to local restaurants, tours to areas of special interest, and more. “The Greek hotel has always supported local communities and now the opportunity has been given to highlight their role even more. “

XEE through the development of the two main actions “Greek Breakfast” and “Boutique Hotel” marks the effort to further improve the quality of the tourist product, explains Christina Tetradi. At the same time, “Greek Breakfast – Greek Breakfast” highlights the value of gastronomy in hospitality and “Boutique Hotel” investing in aesthetics, uniqueness and identity of detail, offers hospitality with a distinct personality and a customer-centric philosophy, adds Christina Tetradi.

Michalis Vamiedakis: Be careful not to “cannibalize” the country’s main tourist product

Michalis Vamiedakis, Greek President of Allsun Hotels and Development Consultant of Danaos Travel, after focusing on the need to modernize tourism services and offer new tourism products to visitors, is sounding the alarm not to “cannibalize” the country’s main tourism product in the effort. growth in turnover and explains:

Responding to voices whispering that hotel companies should quit all-inclusive, I note that this shouldn’t happen because for better or worse Greece is listed on the tourist map as an area that provides tourist services “Generalists”. In fact, here is the opportunity for existing hotels to upgrade their infrastructure and services, so that with the same nights we have more income. “

When asked if the current arrivals could increase the income of the Greek economy, Mr Vamiedakis said he was convinced that the per capita spending of the foreign visitor could increase if Greece attracted visitors to activities in high added value. Maritime tourism, accommodation in villas, shops in hotels, but also the participation of foreign visitors in activities that enhance the experience, are some of the tourism products that can enrich the existing model, notes Mr. Vamiedakis.

Ioanna Dretta: Experiential experiences, strengthening of infrastructures can be factors of attraction of visitors of increased economic level

Remaining on the pillars that should be supported by strategies to increase tourism income, the CEO of Marketing Greece underlines that the enrichment of the tourism product, experiential experiences and the strengthening of public infrastructure, mainly, but also private can be factors attraction of visitors. increased economic level.

“The question is that in addition to the high quality that must govern our product, we must understand the demands of the modern traveler and respond to them creatively and using the authenticity that characterizes our country, our temperament and ourselves”, emphasizes Ioanna Dretta.

Responding to the question of whether the country can, without setting a record of arrivals each time, achieve increased income, he stresses that anything can be done and anything is possible, as long as there is a plan and planning. . “Because in addition to the uniqueness of the tourism product that we offer, we must always remember that to achieve the goal there are stages such as research, planning, structured action plan and well sure cooperation “, explains Ioanna Dretta.

Can communication and promotion actions “turn their backs” on tourism revenue? If so, how can this be done?

“Without communication and promotion actions, the tourist product does not have the capacity and the dynamic to directly address the traveling public and to present its uniqueness and character. Therefore, yes, communication actions, in addition to being compulsory, significantly contribute to tourism. income, because these are the means by which the traveler will be inspired, dreamed and ultimately choose to visit, ”emphasizes the CEO of Marketing Greece.

For her part, the Head of Research at diANEOsis, among others, underlines in APE-MPE that “it is particularly important to specify that each region must recognize its comparative advantages in tourism and focus on a specific tourist market. In this way, the emerging destination brand will be clearer, the marketing of the territory will be more targeted and effective and could be more aggressive, the choice of the necessary infrastructures – public or private – as well as the certifications or accreditations will be more effective and local companies will be able to specialize in this tourist market and take advantage of external economies of scale ”.

Source: RES-EAP

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