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Greece: Attracting Tourism Development

Greece ranked 29th among a total of 139 countries in a survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) regarding competitiveness for the tourism sector.
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report is issued annually and grades countries on a total of 60 indicators, including policy regulations, resources, safety, prices and environmental protection. According to the survey, Greece benefits from its rich cultural resources (ranked 25th), excellent health and hygiene (20th), and a top-notch tourism infrastructure (5th). Further on, the report refers to the country’s strong national affinity for tourism (compared with many other European countries), including a generally open and positive attitude toward tourists (26th). The report ranks Greece 21st among European countries.
World Economic Forum: 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Tax and spending policy

» PM: Tackling Economic Woes

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou chaired a Cabinet meeting that discussed the draft tax bill and public-sector incomes policy.
He said that the government’s efforts to tackle the country’s economic problems will focus on three axes: reducing public debt, promoting growth, and accelerating legislative and institutional measures.
Papandreou stressed that the government’s primary duty was to save the economy, striving for fair solutions that would protect the lower and middle classes as much as possible.

» FinMin: New Tax Rates

A range of public spending cuts and tax adjustments were presented by the government yesterday, following an announcement last week by the premier that drastic measures would be taken to prevent Greece from defaulting.
Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou unveiled more specific policies, which included plans to cut the salaries of the premier and his ministers, a moratorium on hiring in the public sector this year – excluding however health services –  as well as changes to the tax system, which will now contain more tax brackets and will lead to higher earners paying more.

The destiny of Greek Tourism

» Expected Recovery

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) According to a survey conducted by the Academy of Tourism Research and Studies, Greek tourism will recover this year, with tourist arrivals expected to rise by 8.6%, compared to 2009.
The report by ATEM predicts that foreign tourists visiting Greece will reach 15.5 million in 2010, on condition that there is an upturn in world’s economy.

Greek National Tourism Organisation: www.gnto.gr

» Alternative Tourism

Exploring caves, rafting and trekking is just a small part of the activities offered to tourists who do not like crowded vacation destinations and choose alternative tourism.
More examples include medical tourism – which started in Ancient Greece – as well conference and wedding tourism (accommodations, transport, beauty treatments, flower arrangements, and much more).
A conference titled “New Trends in Tourism: benefits & prospects for women,” organised by the Thessaloniki Organisation for Women’s Employment & Resources (TOWER), aims at presenting and discussing various new trends in tourism. Topics to be explored include eco / agro-tourism, health & wellness tourism, and raising awareness about career opportunities available for women in tourism.
See also Greek News Agenda: Alternative Tourism