FUTURE TRENDS IN THE GREEK TOURISM SECTOR 1
FutureTrends in the Greek Tourism Sector
FutureTrends in the Greek Tourism Sector
Inthe past twenty years or so Greece has experienced a sharp rise inthe number of visiting and local tourists visits their tourism sites.The country boasts of some of the most beautiful landscape and otheraesthetics in the world. In 2012, the tourism industry contributed16.4% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) (Kapiki2012, pp. 8-10). In addition, the general employment in the tourism sector amounts tomore than 688,800 jobs similar to 28.3% of the total workforce of thecountry (Kapiki2012, pp. 8-10).Therefore, tourism is considered one of the most employable careersin the country. Consequently, this paper will observe the currentsituation of the nation`s tourism sector, as well as its current andpredicted future trends. Furthermore, the paper will highlight thesignificance of this industry to their fluctuating economy.
Greeceis a medium-sized country with an estimated population of more than11.03 million people. This is according to the official estimationsfrom Eurostat obtained in 2008. This is also similar to the numbergiven by the country’s government as per the Census conducted in2011. The country is located in South Eastern Europe comprising ofonly two peninsulas and several islands found in the Ionian andAegean seas. Historically, Greece is considered as the foundation ofWestern civilization and democracy. Its capital, Athens, boasts someof the most ancient landmarks such as the B.C.E.Acropolis citadelconstructed in the 5thcentury and the Parthenontemple. Apartfrom this, the country has some of the best and exclusive beachesincluding the black sands of Sanitorinito the partyresorts of Mykonos.
Greeceis considered to have one of the most ancient cultures that haveevolved over several centuries, from the Mycenaean period, continuinginto the classical era, through the turbulent times of the Roman andthe Byzantine Empires. Greece has traces of various culturesincluding Latin, Persian, Frankish, Ottoman, Venetian, and BritishCultures due to the contact it had with the respective Empires duringtheir reigning eras. Today, the political privileges experienced invarious societies are as a result of the Greek people. These includepractices like elections, jury trials, equality as permitted by thelaw. In addition, its education system has become the envy of manywould-be philosophers due to the historical popularity of some of thecountry’s thinkers like Aristotle,Homer, Socrates,and among others. Furthermore, the country has a rich cuisine thathas a long history behind it. Its flavours vary with its geographyand season. Its cookery is known to influence the general westerncuisine. The food is prepared as per the "Mediterranean triad."These consist of olive oil, wheat, wine, and fish. In particular, itswine is widely sought after by major hospitality institutionsthroughout the world (Kapiki2012).
In2012, the Greek tourism sector achieved a tremendous performance whencompared to other countries worldwide. According to statistics fromWorldTourism Organization,the country is ranked 17thinterms of the number of international tourist arrivals. In anotherindex, it was positioned 23rdin terms of the number of global tourism earnings (EuropeanCommission, 2012, pp. 1-5). According to the further analysis by theWorldEconomic Forumconducted in 2013 places the country 32ndout of more than a hundred other destinations included in the Traveland Tourism Competitive Index. Meanwhile, the state also took the 96thrank in the GlobalCompetitive Index(European Commission, 2012, pp. 1-5). The data displayed above showsthat the Greek tourism industry is one of the few industries that isperforming excellently both at the domestic and international level.
Thecontribution of this sector to the socio-economic setting of Greeceis very interesting. It is observed that every single EURO currencyspent in tourism rakes in more than 2.18 EUROs in indirectconsumption (European Commission, 2012, pp. 1-5). This takes intoaccount the rate of employment generated. According the EuropeanCommission statistics, for every direct job created in the tourismindustry, a similar number is established at the national level. Inthe country, travel is subdivided into various levels. There is thelocal, central, and central administrative authorities established tooversee the smooth running of the industry (European Commission,2012, pp. 1-5). The figure below shows a snapshot of Greece’stourism growth for selected periods.
Thetremendous growth of the Greek economy is attributed to the variousfactors. Tourists visiting the country love it due to the sandy andsunny beaches. This allows them to take part in various funactivities such as water surfing, boat riding, swimming, sunbathing,fishing, deep sea diving, bike riding, and other sport activitieslike beach soccer and beach volleyball. The country has also beenconstructing new hotels to facilitate easy and more comfortableboarding facilities for the tourists (Kapiki2012, pp. 8-10). Furthermore, there has been an improvement in the number of peopletravelling in Greece for education purposes. They go to the country’smost famous museums and other institutions of knowledge to learnabout the country`s rich historical culture. Most philosophers dreamto view the statues of some of the great Greek thinkers as well asexperience first-hand what it feels like to step on the same groundas the like of Ptolemyand Socrates.
Sportstourism is a trend that has been growing for some time now. More andmore countries are establishing exquisite sports facilities toattract and cater to the rising demand. For instance, the OlympicsGames held in Athens in 2004 ended up to rake in more than half ofthe country’s economy (Papadimitriou& Trakas, 2008, p. 3).It generated enormous revenues that helped the government recuperatefrom the debts it had beyond its borders. Furthermore, the localhospitality industry, manufacturers and small and medium-sizedenterprises also benefitted immensely from the spending power of thevisiting crowds. The same trend is also anticipated in future due tothe prominence of Greek sports culture. TheEuropean Cup Soccer Competitionwas also held in the country in 2006, in which as hosts, they emergedvictorious.
Thisinformation shows the ever growing demand for Greek sportsfacilities. In addition, the continuing participation of thecountry’s soccer clubs in the EuropeanChampions Leaguewill also increase the visitors coming to watch their belovedvisiting teams play against Greek opponents. Nevertheless, Athleticsis another important attraction for tourists. Greece participates inthe hosting of major IAAFeventssuch as the AthleticsDiamondLeagueheld every year. In return, this attracts fans, journalists, andother relevant stakeholders to the country to keep tabs with theevents (Papadimitriou& Trakas 2008, p. 3).
Asrecently observed, Greece is currently boosting the face of thecountry’s luxury tourism to the international market. It isbuilding new luxury homes and apartments to cater to the growinginternational middle-class travellers. This is expected to reduce theburden of overflowing arrivals being felt by the hotels. As we know,there are people like celebrities, politicians, and businessmen wholike to have exclusive moments in private establishments away fromthe privy eyes of paparazzi and other journalists. These developmentsare meant to cater to this exclusive clientele which in return, whospend extravagantly (Papadimitriou& Trakas, 2008, p. 3).
Growth of Hotel industry
Greeceis known to have a small number of international hotel franchiseswhich in return has hampered its tourism growth. There are touristswho identify themselves with certain international brands and makesure they use them due to their services or existing cordialrelationship. The lack of these establishments meant that the countrywas missing out on this clientele. For a country like Greece, thisshould not be the case. Therefore, the government has embarked on aplan to welcome new hotels including those owned by internationalbrands like the HiltonHotel, Sarova Stanley, Best Western, Villarosa Kempinski,Intercontinental chain of hotelsamong others. For the future, the development of these hotels in thecountry will see a tremendous rise in its overall tourism demandworldwide (Papadimitriou& Trakas, 2008, p. 3).
Greentourism is a trend that has been growing throughout the world. Thistrend is observed among environmentalists and those with a passionfor conservation. These may include students, scientists, globalleaders, activists, and many other groups that are keen on saving theplanet from the current pollution levels. Greece has got some of themost beautiful landscapes and waterfronts which make it a greatdestination for conservation studies, meetings, conferences, andother important global events. The trend is still growing, and itholds a huge growth potential in the future (Kapiki,2012, pp. 8).
Asstated earlier, education is one of the fundamental sectors inGreece. Some of the greatest minds in the world originated from thisgreat peninsula. For this reason, many students, scholars,philosophers and other academicians throng sites where they can findimportant historical facts of these people and the general educationsystem of the country. These sites include museums, universities,exhibition halls, National Archives among others. Due to theomnipresent nature of knowledge, it makes it a sustainable touristattraction source (Kapiki,2012, pp. 8-9).
Inconclusion, I agree with the authors of the set of informationpresented above. The trends portrayed are real and factual andindicate the actual situation of the Greek tourism sector. Theyarticle some of the important aspects of a vibrant tourism industryin the example of Greece. This information may be useful to othercountries yearning to be at par with the crème de la crème inglobal travel movement.
EuropeanCommission, Survey on the attitudes of Europeans towardstourism-Flash Eurobarometer 334, 2012 McKinsey & Company, Greece10 years ahead, 2012
Kapiki,S. T. (2012). Current and Future Trends in Tourism and Hospitality:The Case of Greece. InternationalJournal of Economic Practices and Theories,2(1).
Papadimitriou,P., & Trakas, T. (2008). The changing face of the Greekhospitality market. HVS:Athens.
Sigala,M., & Baum, T. (2003). Trends and issues in tourism andhospitality higher education: Visioning the future. Tourismand Hospitality Research,4(4),367-376.