“Our goal is to invest in tourism to create better jobs, increase income and lead to the prosperity of the average Greek family,” said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias in an interview with Real FM radio station.
“From the family business in tourism to the hoteliers, the employees, the hotel employees, the retail in the tourist areas and all the professions around tourism, our obligation as a Government is to support, to help, to reform, to solve problems and to prepare early for 2022,” added Mr. Kikilias.
According to the Minister of Tourism, 320 million euros from the European Recovery Fund will be allocated to support tourism, tourism development, skills upgrading, digitization, the tourist register and other actions. “These only concern money that comes from Europe to Greece and is public resources. “Imagine the leverage we are already seeing from domestic and foreign investments, small and medium, in tourism, in accommodation, in green accommodation, in digitization, in upgrading 3-star hotels to 4-star, 4-star hotels to 5-star”, he said characteristically, adding that “such investments in tourism have not been realized in the past, and due to the responsibilities of the Ministry of Tourism with the Ministries of Development, Environment, Finance and Interior, in fact a very large part of the investments through the RRF end up in the tourism product and shape the country’s tourist.
Answering a question about the revenues from tourism, Mr. Kikilias pointed out that after the 18 billion in 2019, before the pandemic, in the way we managed the crisis, with health protocols and with confidence in the forces of the Greek economy, a large part of which are the forces of Greek tourism, in 2020 we reached 4.2 billion revenues and 7.4 million visitors.
“For this year, the forecast was initially around 6 billion euros in revenues. The forecast by the people of tourism that it will reach 10 billion has been revised and I think that with this September and October we are going through, with the extension of the airlines’ flights to major tourist destinations, such as Crete and Corfu until the end of November, like the city break in Athens and Thessaloniki and with the way it is evolving, I think that the optimists who talk about revenues of 12 billion this year will be confirmed,” he stated characteristically.
Mr. Kikilias made special reference to the strengthening of winter tourism, talking about the expansion of the tourist product with content. He stressed that as he pointed out in his contacts during his recent visit to the international tourism fair in France, our goal is the 8 weeks of French school holidays, but also markets such as Great Britain, Germany and Austria.
In this context, he reiterated that this year there will be another tourism campaign, November to January, to support the city break and outdoor destinations, co-financed by EOT with major airlines.
“With so many beautiful landscapes that Greece has, we must highlight and strengthen alternative forms of tourism, such as gastronomic, wine tourism, religious tourism, mountaineering tourism and others,” said the Minister of Tourism.