Greek Tourism Ministry defines tourism products

The Greek Tourism Ministry has prepared a new legal framework for ‘thematic’ tourism activities, based on the guidelines of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The new legal framework for thematic tourism is part of a broader draft law prepared by the ministry. The draft law aims to tackle procedural, administrative and bureaucratic problems that have affected Greek entrepreneurs and professionals in the tourism industry.

The framework includes the exact definition of thematic tourism and defines the products that are strong enough to be promoted. The framework focuses on many tourism forms, with cultural tourism in the lead and includes medical and health tourism.

The objective is to define and identify each of the thematic tourism products so that ministerial decisions can be taken based on standards. After stakeholder consultation it will be tabled in Parliament.

This move is set against the reality that Greece is the latest European victim of ‘over tourism’, as rapid growth means strained infrastructure and overcrowding in big cities and at major attractions.

Tourism has helped support a nation which is battling bankruptcy and a quarter of residents need the industry to make a living. There is growing concern however that it cannot cope with its burgeoning popularity for much longer. Efforts to promote medical and health tourism may ultimately be thwarted by the need to protect the infrastructure.  See more IMTJ analysis of medical tourism in Greece.