ATHENS – Greece is grappling with a dilemma over its biggest revenue engine, tourism: keep people coming year-round to bring in the euros but how to deal with so many overwhelming the infrastructure on popular islands.
One idea is trying to persuade people to visit those less-visited but actually are more traditionally Greek in their charm and far fewer visitors, places like Mykonos and Santorini resembling Disneyland versions.
A meeting is planned for Dec. 14 to discuss what to do in developing a tourism strategy that would be sustainable, protect nature and the environment and yet not discourage visitors in the wake of this summer’s deadly fires and floods.
“This tactical change is set to reposition Greece as an eminent protagonist in regard to world ranking of tourist attractions and experiences,” said Travel and Tour World about the goals.
The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association together with the Greek National Tourism Organisation will together organize the second roundtable on Greening The Greek Experience it said.
Greece’s tourism agency, industry leaders from airlines, tour operators, and various stakeholders were attracted to the first edition event to discover strategies and insights for developing sustainable tourism, said the report.
The first event was A Collaborative Approach to Sustainable Tourism, and featured speakers in the field including the Head of Sustainability and Industry Affairs at Athens International Airport, Anna Vasila.
Santorini has limited how many cruise ships can unload visitors with a daily quota in an effort to deal with the numbers but the government is pushing for more 5-Star hotels and luxury resorts taking over public beaches and has made all-out tourism a cornerstone of its plan to bring in more money.