19 October, 2005
Tourism Deputy Minister Anastasios Liaskos on Tuesday announced the permanent end to a "circle of lost opportunities" for Greek tourism and announced a review of a legislative framework on the categorization of Greek hotels based on a "stars" system.
Addressing a conference on "Tourism and Development" organized by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Liaskos said Greek tourism was promoting an international image of high quality destination with government strategy focusing on development, culture and environment.
The Greek minister said the government would soon issue a ministerial decree abolishing all geographic limitations in the building and expansion of four- and five-star hotels in the country. Tourism ministry also drafts new standards for the development of special forms of tourism, such as theme parks, sport training centers, etc.
Liaskos said the ministry would submit to parliament draft legislation on spa tourism this month.
SETE presented a survey on "Analyzing competitiveness indices of Greek tourist product compared with other tourism destinations". The survey showed that the vast majority of tourists visiting Greece expressed their satisfaction over the stay in the country, while only 5.0 percent said they were not satisfied with stay in Athens, 7.0 percent in Zakynthos and 4.0 pct in Heraklion, Crete.
The survey said there were no clear competitors for Greek travel destinations, with only 13 percent of tourists saying Barcelona and Rome were alternative solutions to Athens.
The survey said that traffic, congestion and lack of environmental care were the most negative characteristics of Greek tourism, while hospitability and friendliness were highly appreciated by foreign tourists.
SETE said average revenue per room rose by 47 percent from 2000 to 2004, while 66 percent of Greek hotels were low rated.
Source: Athens News Agency