New bill in Greece identifies key role for health tourism

 

The new tourism bill allows for the establishment of new Tourism Management and Development Organisations. The task of these organisations 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 aims to ensure the strategic continuity in the promotion of tourism products and ensure the quality of services provided.

The bill also establishes the Greek Organisation of Tourist Destinations of Global Scope, which will seek to recognise those destinations that are of national importance, while establishing a framework for their protection through:

  • Monitoring indicators of the burden of carrying capacity.
  • Development strategy for each destination.
  • Co-ordinating the construction of the necessary infrastructure to support the destination.

The bill also creates another entity, the Organisation for the Utilisation of Thermal Resources, aimed at the development of thermal tourism and wellness tourism in Greece. The responsibilities of the organisation include holistic and sustainable tourism development, as well as encouraging private investment.

Travel for health reasons belongs to the rapidly growing types of tourism. The expected annual growth rate in Greece for these sectors for the period 2017-2022 is 7.5% in terms of wellness tourism, 6.4% for spa facilities, and 6.5% for thermal springs.

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