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Alexandros Thanos

Executive Advisor to Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE)

Editor Margarita Manousou

The positive tourist traffic in 2023 is due to many factors

According to the data so far from Institute of SETE (INSETE), in the period January-August 2023, 17.4 mn. international air arrivals, while receipts in the period January-July 2023 amounted to €10,321 million. This positive trend in tourism is due to many factors. On the one hand, Greece has established itself as a tourist destination, is the 5th brand worldwide, has a good reputation and is appreciated by travellers from all over the world, because of the good management we showed as a country during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, the private sector has invested heavily in tourism infrastructure and services, such as hotels, restaurants, transport and attractions, creating a good and complete tourism product for visitors. In any case, there should be no complacency, as the challenges are many and the movement depends on many different factors, including climate change and new trends in consumer behaviour. Looking ahead to the next day, the key strategic objective should be the sustainable development of destinations and the targeted creation of services and products, with effective cooperation between the public and private sectors.


Rising energy costs will affect tourism.

The increase in energy costs undoubtedly affects tourism and varies from destination to destination. Of course the manner and extent of the effect depends on many factors.

However, it is important to note that tourist traffic also depends on other factors related to the consumption power of our visitors, geopolitical developments, accessibility and connectivity, as well as the overall competitiveness of the tourism product and destinations and the quality-price ratio.


Climate change phenomena will play a catalytic role in travellers' choices.

Climate change has already started to play a key role in shaping tourists' preferences and choices. Rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions are causing issues in destinations, phenomena that we have unfortunately experienced in Greece this year. Sustainable development and environmental protection are becoming increasingly important and now dominate the public debate. A coherent plan and investment in infrastructure is required, taking into account the new data, the carrying capacity of each destination and the spatial and temporal extension of the tourist season.

There is now even an awareness of the consumer choices of travellers who choose to travel in sustainable ways, such as using alternative modes of transport and travel and staying in accommodation that adopts sustainable practices. In this direction, destinations that adopt and promote sustainability seem to have advantages in attracting travellers.


SETE's proposals for the better support of the Greek tourism product in terms of destination management, the labour market and sustainability.

SETE actively and with specific proposals contributes to the development of a sustainable tourism policy, an objective that is directly linked to SETE's strategic pillars for the coming years, which, in addition to infrastructure, include investment and competitiveness, proper destination management, the labour market and sustainability. Especially for the pillar of sustainable development and environmental responsibility, it is now the central direction for the formulation of tourism strategy, internationally, and that the concept of sustainability encompasses all strategic pillars, as it concerns both the environment, society and the economy, offering the tourism business the possibility of green financing, issues that are included in detail in the Action Plans of the National Strategy for the Tourism 2030.


Specifically on climate change and the use of RES, the Association has taken a position on the need to encourage tourism businesses to use RES to cover their energy needs, the enhancement of energy efficiency in tourism businesses, etc., reflecting the awareness that tourism and climate change are closely linked, and that tourism must be developed in a way that respects the environment and promotes sustainability.

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