Sustainable practices and infrastructure and qualified human resources are keys to moving successfully into the future providing tourism services of the highest quality and maintaining a competitive edge, said Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) President Angela Gerekou and Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (POX) President Grigoris Tasios during the “Tourism: The Next Day” conference organized by the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (ACTE).
Gerekou and Tasios participated in a panel discussion on “Quality Tourism as a Response to Crisis” and both underlined the importance of restructuring the tourism industry in a sustainable manner.
Gerekou said travelers were willing to pay for destinations and activities that meet sustainable standards, implement environmentally friendly policies and share common values with visitors, such as slow travel, rural tourism, alternative destinations, authentic local experiences and businesses that encourage diversity, support people with disabilities and respect its principle zero food waste.
She went on to add that a new trend in this direction was regenerative tourism, which focused on health and wellness, and added that travelers are now more than ever interested in safety, which means the need to adopt digital experiences, enriched through virtual and augmented reality.
In this direction she said the GNTO would be teaming up with private stakeholders to implement a series of actions and initiatives through to 2030 that will meet these demands and at the same time promote Greece as a safe destination that is inclusive of all travelers.
Representing Greece’s hoteliers, Tasios expressed optimism despite the challenging times. “Over the last two years, we have grown resilient through our work, responsibility, risks, investments… But we must also look at the ‘bigger picture’,” he said, stressing the need to build on the valuable experience gained during Covid-19 and to set into motion the vision of sustainable tourism.
In this direction, POX members have set key goals, which include transitioning to green practices, modernizing their infrastructure, integrating new technologies, and training their human resources.