In the last 5 years, tourism has been generally accepted as the most important sector of the Greek economy. This year, as things are not going well, various voices are being heard calling for a change in our economy model. What economy model? Obviously, the one that it has been developed by chance or mostly by using the “error and trial” method.
The production model that needs to be changed-improved is the tourism production model. The most important sector of the Greek economy is under the least important Ministry in the Cabinet and the respective Minister of Tourism has always been a “rookie” Minister, with no previous ministerial experience!
Evaluating our performance, we are still counting only “heads” (=arrivals), instead of formulating a truly representative performance indicator, consisting of economic, social and environmental variables!
We are proud that the %share of tourism in GDP has been doubled during crisis, but we forget to mention that the Greek GDP has decreased by 25%. The total contribution of tourism to GDP, from 37.3 billion Euros in 2008, after declining for many years, reached the same level (37.5 billion Euros) by 2018 (data from the WTTC, as there is no reference by Greek official data sources!)
We have been talking for a long time about managing seasonality, but, instead of presenting an organized plan to diversify supply and attract demand, we mostly rely for this on the climate change, which on the other hand, simply lies within our rhetoric interests!
Quite high on our agenda is the balanced regional development, while almost 85% of the tourism economy is taking place only in 5 Regions!
We are in a long period of full digitalisation, but there are still hotels without booking online-real time possibility!
So, yes, it is about time to change our production model!