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Tourism

Greece Wants More Elderly Tourists, Will Push Cultural Attractions

ATHENS – Greece’s efforts to keep tourists coming year round – it’s the country’s biggest revenue engine – is taking new turns with tourism in agriculture, sports, gastronomy, history – and now culture and reaching out to the elderly.

Deputy Culture Minister Nicholas Yatromanolakis told Money-Tourism.gr that the plans are to create travel experiences targeted at senior citizens who have time and money to travel, and emphasize the country’s noted culture.

“No serious actions and investments have been made in the area of cultural tourism until today. Perhaps because we haven’t figured out how to connect these two sectors effectively and to astutely add culture to our tourist mix,” he said, without clarifying why it hadn’t been done given Greece’s rich history.

Yatromanolakis said that a “superficial approach” to the development of cultural tourism has led to “inequalities: on the one hand, the overexploitation of some points of cultural interest and on the other, the non-utilization of other cultural experiences by the tourism sector, such as festivals”.

Greece had long depended on word of mouth, not tourism campaigns, and relying on sun, sand, islands, beaches and the summer to bring people but has expanded its efforts to show off autumn and winter as well as spring.

Plans are underway to revive and “reposition” the Greek handicrafts and textile industry which can contribute to the cultural development of the country but also to the upgrade of the tourist souvenir replacing it with handmade objects of high added value, he said, reported SchengenVisaInfo.

“Culture has its own development dimension and dynamic beyond and independent of tourism. It would be a mistake to consider it only in relation to tourism, although cultural tourism, according to studies, accounts for one-third of total tourism turnover globally,” he said.

He said there would be a special platform for the promotion and development of contemporary Greek culture including music, dance, cinema, theater, visual arts, design, and literature.

He said there would be a continued emphasis on bringing in foreign filmmakers which has brought a boom in that area after the country long kept them away with restrictions that were a deterrent.

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