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Tourism

Greece Wants Tourists to Find Country’s Hidden Destinations Too

ATHENS – Bolstered by big numbers of foreign arrivals, Greece doesn’t want to sit pat during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic that’s receding in attention, hoping to lure visitors to spots that aren’t well known or promoted before.

There had been a turn toward trying to make the country a year-round destination and now there will be a push to interesting people in other areas that often get overlooked, said GTP Headlines.

During the Israel-Greece conference at the Isla Brown Corinthia in Loutraki – another 5-star resort – Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias laid out the idea of getting tourists to beyond the major cities or islands.

“We’ve worked systematically for the last three years in order to re-instill confidence in the Greek economy, implementing the necessary reforms, removing age-old bureaucratic hurdles and creating the appropriate institutional framework to attract large investments and create new quality jobs for Greek citizens,” said Kikilias, referring to the trickle-down effect.

He noted the rush especially to build luxury resorts for the wealthy, some of the excluding Greeks from public beaches, and the New Democracy government seeking rich foreign investors catering to that sector.

Kikilias said the Louisville, Kentucy Brown Hotels Group is “now investing in Greece with 50 hotels. And in fact, not only in popular destinations,” but less-traveled areas that the rich especially favor to keep away from traffic.

He said most global multinationals in tourism and hospitality groups in the country are building or renovating hotels and high-level accommodations especially geared to those with deep pockets who are big spenders.

He said that has created “a very healthy part of the economy that is in line with the development model we want for the country …. these investments cast the spotlight on alternative destinations and generate income for the average Greek business and family,” he said.

“We’ve seen similar investments in the center of Athens, in an area that many considered degraded, in Evia, Lavrio and Loutraki with very nice resorts and hotels. These investments mean new jobs for Greeks, strengthening the primary sector and the commercial world, but also more revenue for state coffers from taxes and levies,” he said.

Tourism accounts for up to 18-20 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 186.52 billion euros ($200.3 billion) and during a run of consecutive record-breaking years that ended in 2020 when COVID hit the sector employed nearly a million people.

Ironically, a larger-than-expected uptick in tourism this year already, which has seen American airlines add more direct flights, has run into an unexpected problem: not enough staff at hotels and facilities to handle visitors.

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