Tourism in Greece: Wikis

  
  
  

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Greece attracts more than 16 million tourists each year, thus contributing 15% to the nation's Gross Domestic Product Economy. Greece has been an attraction for international visitors since antiquity for its rich and long history and more recently for its Mediterranean coastline and beaches.[1] In 2005, 6,088,287 tourists visited only the city of Athens, the capital city.

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Visitors

In 2004, the country welcomed over 16.5 million tourists.

The island of Rhodes is one of the most visited places in the Mediterranean Sea.

According to a survey conducted in China in 2005, Greece was voted as the Chinese people's number one choice as a tourist destination.[2][3] Furthermore, Greece has been actively trying to secure a large share of Chinese tourists per year, highlighted by the large presence of Greek tourist informatives at the 2006 Beijing International Tourism Expo. Greece had the largest single country participation at the Beijing Tourism Expo with a total exhibition space take-up of more than 1,152 m², more than any other nation.[4] In November 2006, Austria, like China, announced that Greece was the favourite destination for tourism giving optimistic hopes for the future.[5]. In line with these observations, Greece's former Minister of Tourism Aris Spiliotopoulos announced the opening of a GNTO office in Shanghai until 2010. To promote Chinese flow of tourists to Greece, Air China has now established direct flights from China to Greece.

Economic impact

At the same time, tourism consumption increased considerably since the turn of the millennium, from US$ 17.7 bn. in 2000 to US$ 29.6 bn. in 2004. The number of jobs directly or indirectly related to the tourism sector were 659,719 and represented 16.5% of the country's total employment for that year.

Infrastructure

Although Greece has always been a popular tourist destination, it has been criticised many times for lagging behind other Western European nations in terms of tourism infrastructures and amenities. However, this has been greatly improved since the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Hotels

Corfu, one of the Ionian Islands.

According to the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and the National Statistical Service of Greece, the number of hotels in Greece was by classification (bedplaces):

Star Rating Number Beds
5 star 176[6] 64,913[6]
4 star 994[6] 176,631[6]
3 star 1,804[6] 163,077[6]
2 star 4,460[6] 231,333[6]
1 star 1,677[6] 57,298[6]
Total 9,111[6] 693,252[6]

Marinas

Greece has 51 marinas and 14,661 mooring places that provide such services as berths, fuel, water and electricity, telephony, and repairs. Some of the most developed and busiest marinas in Greece are just a few kilometres from the centre of Athens. The marinas of Alimos and Flisvos, on the south coast of Athens, have an aggregated capacity of more than 1,800 vessels.

Spas and Thermal Springs

Greece has 752 thermosprings. Many have been classified as therapeutic by the National Institute for Geographical and Mineral Research.

Conference Facilities

Conference tourism, targeted at academic, business, or cultural markets is a cornerstone of the Greek national tourism policy. As a result, the Greek Government, with strong support from local authorities, has been offering lucrative cash grants, leasing and employment subsidies and tax allowances to establish new conference facilities and expand existing ones. In a recent report in Meeting and Incentive Travel, Greece was ranked eighth in the world in overnight stays for conferences. Figures from the Tourism Satellite Accounting Research, conducted by WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) project a worldwide increase in revenues in business travel to Greece from US $1.51 bn. in 2001 to US $2.69 bn. in 2011. In 1998, the figure stood at US $1.18 bn.

Promoting Greek tourism

The government intends to promote winter tourism in Greece, which could potentially increase international arrivals even further.

Tourism in Greece is run by the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) who used Helena Paparizou, a famous Greek singer who won Eurovision song contest in 2005 as an ambassador. Singer Sakis Rouvas[7], who will represent Greece in the 2009 Eurovision song contest is currently the ambassador for Greek Tourism. The new logo of the Greek National Tourism Organisation consists of nine circles, which symbolize the nine new kinds of tourism that should be promoted to combat the tourism sector's seasonality. The new logo's slogan is "Greece, the true experience," which shows that the marketing campaign is nowadays directed towards experience seekers and not just mass tourism.[8]

The drawback of the new logo is that at a first glance it cannot be associated with Greece. The advertisements displayed in the GNTO's web-site still focus on the triptych of sea, sun and sand. However, the tourism campaign is undergoing a significant change as city-breaks and conference tourism are promoted, along with cultural and wellness tourism. The impact of the new campaign will hopefully result in increased tourist revenues.

See also

References

External links








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