The Minister of Tourist Development, Mrs Fani Palli Petralia, stated in her 2007 budget speech that there were 16 million tourist arrivals in Greece in 2006, with profits of about 12 million euros, an all-time record.
“Our long-term target is 20 million tourists per year, i.e. two visitors to every Greek. We can achieve this and lay the foundations of long-term economic development. Our new tourism policy is planned, organized, co-ordinated and consistent, with total focus on the target and a specific strategy.
For the first time we are exercising a long-term tourism policy and looking further than the next tourist season. For the first time we are promoting the enrichment and reinforcement of the traditional sun and sea model.
Our aim is to differentiate our tourist product from that of our competitors and transform our country into a year-round destination for tourists from Europe and worldwide. In order to achieve this, we are implementing practical, functional solutions to problems that have built up over many years.
We have both the will and the determination for timely and effective interventions, always through dialogue and agreement with all political parties and tourism bodies, who are our allies and colleagues in this effort.
Tourism is a national issue. It is not single-party or single-government issue. I would like to take this opportunity to say that, according to the new law we have recently passed, all political parties will be represented on the National Tourism Council which has been operational for two and a half years.
2007 is a very promising year. We are certain that the coming year will be a time in which our efforts will mature and bear fruit in many sectors”, she stated.
The Minister also stressed that, by 8 December, the development law covered 620 investments with a total budget of 1.2 billion euros, representing 37% of total investments.
She added that there will be even more such investments in 2007. “These are investments with a double aim: quality improvement of the services offered and, obviously, differentiation of the tourist product. We want the Greek tourist product to include all forms of tourism and be established as a high-quality product. The key to this worldwide is quality. Tourism, especially in Greece, requires three things: quality, quality, quality.”