AMNA — The tourism industry remained a strong supporter of the Greek economy after achieving its targets of attracting 16 million international arrivals and 10 billion euros in tourism receipts last year, Andreas Andreadis, president of the Federation of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE) said on Monday.
Addressing an event held on the occasion of the presentation of the Bank of Greece governor’s report to the central bank’s annual general shareholders’ meeting, Andreadis said that annual investments worth 2.5 billion euros were needed in order to raise tourism’s contribution to 40 pct of the country’s future economic growth. He added that this figure was fully feasible and probably underestimated and stressed that the first 11 significant new investment plans were currently under licensing procedures by Greek authorities. Promotion of an ambitious privatisation programme and the sale or lease of idle tourist real estate assets by banks were also expected to help towards achieving this year, he noted.amna
He underlined as extremely important to speed-up procedures for visa issuing, reducing a VAT on the restaurant industry to 13 pct and of the VAT on coastal shipping to 13 pct, with the goal of reducing a VAT on tourism to 6.5 pct.
Andreadis said the messages received so far four tourism trends this year were optimistic, with a 20 pct increase in bookings from the UK, a 15 pct rise in bookings from Germany, France and Skandinavia and a more than 20 pct increase in bookings for developing countries, such as Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Turkey, among others.