Strategic directions for improving the competitiveness of Greek turism in the new global environment
Tourism is often called the ‘heavy’ industry of Greece. It accounts for 16,5% of GDP. Tourism is also an instrument for regional development especially for less developed areas of Greece. Given the importance of the sector, it is widely accepted that Greece needs to upgrade its tourist product in order to face the increasing competition among destinations. The model of ′sun, sea and sand’ tends to attract lower-income tourists which means low profits given the bargaining power of international tourism agencies that offer holiday packages all-inclusive. Seasonality is another element that characterizes Greek Tourism and limits its potential.
Within this context, Greek Government, Tourism Organizations and other responsible bodies should take all the appropriate measures in order to improve the competitiveness of Greek Tourism and make Greece as one of the most attractive tourism destinations all year round. Greece should benefit from its assets and strengths and try to eliminate all the barriers that inhibit the development of the sector.
The competitiveness of Greek Tourism can be achieved through a clear strategy of positioning. Greece needs to maintain its market share and attract tourists from different countries. It is generally accepted that tourists will in the future visit a greater number of different destinations, resulting in a lower loyalty towards one or a few destinations. Therefore, the demand for specialized products will increase. The marketing of destinations will become more complex. A marketing company which will handle the promotion of Greek tourism product and will create public relations networks with core markets like Russia, Great Britain, and USA is more than a necessity.