New bill to boost Greece thermal tourism

 

The new framework addresses long-standing legislative, administrative and operational gaps while setting out a framework for thematic and special interest tourism, which has been unregulated.

The law defines thematic and special interest Greek tourism products by category, and also details the certification procedures required and terms of operation.

Besides regulating the development of cultural, faith, medical, thermal, health and wellness, agro, sports, city and educational tourism products, it aims to enhance their attractiveness and boost competitiveness, while setting the standards for the further development of other alternative forms of tourism.

The new law can pave the way for new investment in thermal tourism, as Greece has hundreds of thermal springs. A new committee for the protection of thermal natural resources also certifies thermal springs, 54 thermal springs in Greece have received certification, while another 70 are in the process. The health tourism sector in Greece can now welcome investments needed to improve facilities, while municipalities can now seek European funds to upgrade their thermal tourism infrastructure.

Greece’s main healthcare provider, the National Organisation for Healthcare (EOPYY), instead of the tourism ministry, will oversee health tourism and its registry. Thermal spring treatment centres will be required by law to have on-the-spot medical facilities. A new registry of health tourism services will provide reliable and secure information on the country’s primary and secondary health care facilities.

The tourism ministry has a new strategy for developing thermal tourism as part of a new National Tourism Strategy for Health Tourism. The new framework clarifies the role of the Ministry of Health in the sector.

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