Professor of Dermatology, Professor of Law, President of the Hellenic Academy of Medical Medicine, President of the World Academy of Chinese and Complementary Medicine, Vice President of the World Hippocratic Institute of Physicians, t. Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Vice Rector of the DUTH
An important stabilising factor in all Western countries is domestic tourism.
The right to leisure time and the guarantee of a minimum of holidays for all Greeks is a social acquis of developed countries. The percentage in Greece that remains excluded from the possibility of a holiday exceeds 60%. The reversal of this social inequality will also create a new market and a critical mass for the Greek tourism economy.
Domestic or internal tourism is initially aimed at local experiences with day trips and weekend programmes, as well as business trips, which, with the right support, can maintain the resilience of the ecosystem in times of crisis, while in times of recovery it can lead us to better economic results. Visitor attractions and experiences will play a key role in this early phase, helping to build trust.
Greeks who previously wanted to holiday abroad will choose to holiday close to home, and it will be an opportunity to gain new domestic demand in the tourism sector after the pandemic, causing an increase in the popularity of domestic travel, with a long-term trend, since travel costs abroad are usually two to five times higher than domestic travel.
Avoiding the stress of everyday life in the context of a pandemic, connecting with nature and feeling rejuvenated are the main reasons why they would book a wellness trip to “recharge the batteries”.
The pandemic has made many people aware of the need to be proactive and invest in their health and well-being.
Consumers will focus more on their health and well-being, value for money and avoiding crowded places, while planning
carefully planning their travel, choosing to holiday closer to home for budgetary or environmental reasons.
In post-paternity tourism, it is very likely that the trend towards standalone digital accommodation and booking will accelerate. Domestic corporate travel is expected to recover earlier than conferences and exhibitions, which will be among the last to recover.
Intermediate school holidays and direct or indirect subsidies are well-established policies in many European countries, combining social provision with economic reward and geographical redistribution of destinations.
2022 is turning out to be a difficult year for Greek tourism, with great uncertainty due to international developments. The target for increasing tourism turnover is difficult, while boosting domestic tourism, which in 2021 despite a 55% drop reached 9 million passengers from ferry trips and 3 million passengers in 2021. air travel, 50% lower than in 2019.
Greeks who previously wanted to holiday abroad will choose to holiday close to home, and it will be an opportunity to gain new domestic demand in the tourism sector after the pandemic
These figures show a critical mass of domestic tourism demand, which needs to be strengthened immediately to make the industry resilient and less vulnerable to international markets.
Greek citizens and visitors with multiple routes will really support Greek tourism in 2022. Today, Greek tourism is one of the most vulnerable to international demand and this must change. It is imperative that the Greek Government should provide generous incentives to support domestic tourism, especially for Greek citizens, such as the voucher programme should be launched early with a budget of at least 200 million euros. and on the other hand to proceed with the introduction of a tax deduction of part of the invoiced tourism expenses for Greek families, i.e. to deduct 300 euros per family from accommodation and travel expenses. The incentives should be an investment by the state as they will return back many times over to the struggling economy, by increasing turnover in the local economies of the Greek region and by collecting taxes, while giving the Greek family the opportunity to enjoy their holidays in Greece.
Great emphasis on domestic tourism is required, not only for the summer holiday period, but also during the rest of the year, such as short breaks and excursions during autumn, winter or spring. We must prepare ourselves so that Greek tourism is of high quality and attractive in order to attract people of good quality, who will be satisfied with their stay in Greece and become the ambassador of our country, for the beautiful experiences of the touch of the five senses.
The role of tourism education and the cultivation of a tourism culture through it is extremely important, as is the activation of all citizens who directly or indirectly contribute to the shaping of our tourism profile.
The Greek tourism product is a national affair and for it to be sustainable, close cooperation of all stakeholders is required in its development through collaborative processes (cluster) towards a sustainable, fair and green tourism development.
The triple bottom line includes economic, environmental and social sustainability for each individual destination and for the country as a whole, and it must become an obligation for our children, otherwise tourists with environmental awareness and sensitivity will not visit Greek destinations. Tourism education, completing the reform for tourism professionals, should also focus on issues of wider tourism awareness and culture.
The E.O.T. should cooperate with the Regions to highlight the thematic specialization of the Greek tourism product, highlighting the unique potential of each place to promote sustainable tourism development in order to achieve a steady increase in revenue and at the same time protect the environment, offering more choices and quality to our international visitors, beyond the well-known “sun and sea” motif, utilizing the Hop on-hop off from city to city.