Next year could turn out to be a season of significant investments in the tourism sector, Tourism Development Minister Olga Kefaloyianni said on Monday while addressing the first day of a conference organized by the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE) in Athens. The minister expressed optimism that after 2014, 2015 will prove to be another record year for Greek tourism. Regarding the Greek capital, Kefaloyianni said that the increase in tourism has brought revenues of 142 million euros into the city’s real economy so far this year – i.e. for hotels, commerce, catering companies, taxes and municipal levies.
Development Minister Nikos Dendias announced that a series of unnecessary licenses that add to red tape in tourism will be abolished by the end of the year. As an example he cited the requirements for separate operating permits for bars, restaurants or spas within an already licensed hotel. He said that the internal consultation process on the bill regarding the new EU funding program (2014-20) will be completed in the next couple of weeks so that talks can begin next month on Greece’s new growth plan.
SETE head Andreas Andreadis said the Tourism Ministry is preparing a study on the extension of the tourism season, which is the main theme of the conference. The plan will initially concern the Dodecanese Islands and Crete.