The impact of tourism in Greece: Future trends and prospects.
The aim of this study is to investigate tourism impact in Greece into the socio economic life, as well as for small and big businesses, since tourism is one of the most prominent factors of Greek development.
The findings were very interesting, since it clearly appeared that tourism tendency will be a very dynamic factor over the next years , therefore, Greece as well as other tourist destinations, need to invest a great deal of money, human resources and resources in order to maintain its leading position to the tourist market.
Tourism is a dynamic industry, a cross –cutting sector which involves a vast diversity of products, services and professions, linked to many other activities and policy areas. Tourism is a multi-activated sector, since it mobilizes a wide range of infrastructure services, such as airports, ports, air navigation railways but at the same time it includes services such as transportation, catering, accommodation, recreation, leisure. It is also a jobs generator, with almost 220.000.000 employees worldwide.It has been estimated that in a worldwide basis, tourist activity supports sixty-five million jobs, a large number of minorities amongst them, young people and women not only in hotel, travel, tour operators and shop attendants but also in secondary employment, such as agriculture, handicrafts and other services, like construction, retail, telecommunications and manufacturing businesses. It has a very strong impact in economies, since it contributes to the economical, ecological and socially sustainability, through an economical shrinkage of costs, by improving the environment and at the same time, by preserving country’s culture. Tourism is and will be over the decades, one of the most prominent sources of foreign exchange earnings and from the production point of view, worldwide tourism represents almost 10% of GDP. (http://mbatourism2007.blogspot.com/2008/02/2007.html,25/02/2008) According to the World International Tourism, tourism has been increased, beyond expectations since the international arrivals for 2007, had reached almost 900 millions, the 50% of which were arrivals for European countries. Amongst the top 15 preferred destinations, is Greece with the estimations to overcome 15 millions arrivals for 2008, excluding immigrants and cruises. Therefore, Greek tourism is a continuous growth sector, representing 4,9% of country’s GDP, ranking as the one of the top 15 preferred destinations worldwide.(http://www.p-rigas.gr/05_detail.php?recordID=195, 14/02/2008). Even though tourism has been expanded over the last years, major changes had been performing to the sector of supply and demand: new destinations, new forms of touristic activities, new experiences, whereas the international market is expanding and the competition is being more intense: the emphasis is been in value for money services, the perception of tourism is changing, even the age groups are changing, since more and more elderly people are traveling. What makes Tourism a unique sector is the fact that different products and services are very often supplied by different small or medium enterprises owned by local people, which will improve their earnings, since there is a steady growth over the years. The future challenge is to manage the future growth in the way that the negative effects will be minimised, whereas at the same time the benefits will be maximised by supporting the local industries, the local culture and at the same time by reinforcing the protection of the environment.
FUTURE CHALLENGES FOR GREEK TOURISM.
Tourism is one of the most promising factors of socio-economic life worldwide. It unifies people, cultures, societies and civilizations contributing to the social and civil development. The World Trade Organization estimates that the total international arrivals are...