A new from the Ministry of Tourism was presented this week by the Minister of Tourism Haris Theocharis. Tendered at a meeting of the cabinet, the bill includes provisions that are aimed at resolving a number of issues in the tourism sector with significant economic, social, developmental, and environmental implications.
In detail, the new bill of the Ministry of Tourism includes:
1) The establishment of “Tourism Management and Development Organizations” (DMMO). The task of the Organizations will be to create a framework for cooperation and to provide appropriate incentives, at a geographical or thematic level, between the public and private sectors. This will ensure the strategic continuity in the promotion of tourism products and ensure the quality of services provided. In addition, the establishment of the Greek “Organization of Tourist Destinations of Global Scope” seeks to recognize those destinations that are of national importance, while at the same time establishing a framework for their protection through a) monitoring indicators of the burden of carrying capacity, b) development strategy for each destination and (c) coordinating the construction of the necessary infrastructure to support the destination.
The Tourism Management and Development Organizations, according to the instructions of the Pissaridis Committee, will be a key tool for changing the tourism model in Greece and treating distortions, such as overtourism in certain destinations and the corresponding backwardness of others.
2) The establishment of the “Organization for the Utilization of Thermal Resources”, which aims at the development of thermal-thermal tourism or wellness tourism in Greece. The responsibilities of the Organization include holistic and sustainable tourism development, as well as the activation of private investment funds. It is noted that travel for health reasons belongs to the rapidly growing types of tourism in recent years. The expected annual growth rate for the period 2017-2022 is of the order of 7,5% in terms of wellness tourism, 6,4% for spa facilities, and 6,5% for thermal springs. The world market amounts to a total of 4,2 trillion. dollars. It is clear that Greece needs a national strategy for the utilization of thermal springs and other natural resources, in order to claim a share of this market, in which it operates to date.
3) The establishment of a “Management and Exploitation Body of the Zakynthos Shipwreck”, which will deal specifically with all issues of protection and promotion of the specific attraction. The Shipwreck of Zakynthos is considered a tourist resource of national importance, as it is the second most visited and recognizable tourist destination in Greece, with 4.000 visitors daily and more than 1 million annually. Therefore it needs immediate specialized care. It is known that local interests are in conflict, preventing any kind of intervention to protect this modern “monument” and visitors. At the same time, due to the situation created, the Shipwreck is not sufficiently exploited. The new bill addresses the current state of immobility and gives due care to the safety of tourists and the prevention of accidents, which occur every year. As far as the Shipwreck itself is concerned, the new Agency is in charge of protecting it from damage and keeping it in a visitable condition.
4) Recommendation of the “Cruise Development Council” for the better coordination of the involved bodies. The role of the board is advisory. It is foreseen the representation of all the co-competent ministries at the level of general secretaries, as well as the participation of representatives of the bodies.
Finally, the new bill introduces a series of individual provisions on matters within the competence of the Ministry of Tourism.
Also indicated are; a) the functional integration of main or non-main hotel accommodation, b) the time of withdrawal of the traffic of the DXTL open type urban city tour, c) the amendments of law 4276/2014 (A ‘155) and law. 4442/2016 (Α ‘230) for the obligation of the accommodations to register the notification number in ΜΗ.Τ.Ε. and d) the inclusion in the notification process of health stores, theaters, cinemas and swimming pools operating within special tourist infrastructure facilities. The extension of the notification process and the harmonization of rules and conditions for similar vehicle categories are in line with the general development logic. It is also emphasized that the common strategic pursuit of all the provisions in the new Bill of the Ministry of Tourism is the reduction of bureaucracy, in the direction of supporting and facilitating investment projects.
Source: Tornos News