Don’t sink tourism life raft

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Tourism is one of the Greek econ­omy’s most vi­tal sec­tors and the gov­ern­ment ap­pears to be ex­am­in­ing the prob­lems it faces with a mind to find­ing so­lu­tions. The early re­sults of a few re­luc­tant mea­sures in­tro­duced so far, such as lift­ing cab­o­tage re­stric­tions on cruise lin­ers, are al­ready look­ing pos­i­tive. Mean­while, a new gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple in the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor is bring­ing a more pro­fes­sional tone to the coun­try’s ho­tels, while also work­ing sys­tem­at­i­cally to pro­mote the Greek brand abroad. These are all pos­i­tive signs, but the gov­ern­ment needs to tread very care­fully be­cause it could all go belly up if we see sim­i­lar phe­nom­ena this year as we did in 2010, such as block­ades at air­ports and ports and protest ac­tion staged out­side ho­tels. If Greece does not see a sig­nif­i­cant rise in tourist num­bers and rev­enues this sum­mer, it will sink even deeper into this ex­tremely dif­fi­cult re­ces­sion. It is there­fore vi­tal that the sec­tor is pro­tected and that the gov­ern­ment, op­po­si­tion par­ties and la­bor unions agree on the prin­ci­ple that over the next few cru­cial months, tourism will not be harmed in any way.

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