GREEK TOURISM MINISTRY SETS THERMAL SPRINGS, MARINA GOALS
Correcting entrenched policies that have led to the misuse or disuse of Greece’s thermal springs in order to develop these into a high-value tourism product is among the ministry’s key priorities for the year ahead, said Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias. In a recent interview to Greek newspaper Eleftheros Typos, Kikilias admitted that fragmented ownership and unclear concession deals had hindered potential growth for a product that has such great potential and can contribute not only to tourism revenue for local communities but also to the extension of the tourism season.
“Our main goal is the development of thermal – spa tourism or wellness tourism, which will attract new visitors, enhance the sustainable management of thermal springs, contribute to the creation of added value to GDP and extroversion,” he said.
To achieve this, Kikilias informed that Greece had tabled legislation that foresees the creation of the “Thermal Springs of Greece SA” company, which will design, oversee and manage the development of the country’s wellness tourism product while ensuring revenue stays locally. With secured funding from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience tool, the company will be able to manage the country’s thermal springs in cases where municipalities cannot and distribute the revenues to local communities, he added.
“We are not taking away property from municipalities. The ultimate goal is to achieve holistic and sustainable tourism development, activate private investment funds and to support the achievement of regional development goals,” the tourism minister said.