Tourism plays a key role in the government's efforts to reorganise production in Greece and further develop the areas where Greece has a comparative advantage, Tourism Minister Thanasis Theocharopoulos said on Thursday at the 27th General Assembly of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE).
"We have already risen extremely high, in exceptionally competitive conditions...we will raise the bar even higher," Theocharopoulos said, noting that Greece was now recognised as a model for tourism growth and an example of best practices.
"We are not complacent. We strive for a tourism that is more competitive, more open and ground-breaking. We are striving for solutions to long-term problems. The measures recently passed in parliament will boost tourism growth futher," he added, noting a reduction of VAT for the restaurant and catering sector from 24 pct to 13 pct, VAT cuts for energy from 13 pct to 6 pct and lower VAT on accommodation in 2020.
At the same time, he noted that increased competitiveness must not come at the expense of labour rights, which must be protected, but a focus on "better jobs" with greater productivity.
"For us the key issue is to increase jobs. To create new, sustainable jobs in all linked to tourist activity and hospitality," he said.
Another key priority, according to Theocharopoulos, was to deal with environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development that respected the environment and was in accordance with European directives and international best practices