Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Greek Spa Tourism


Greek Spa Tourism

Greece’s prospects and investment opportunities in the area health & wellness tourism were the focus of a special Investors’ Workshop – Development of Thermal Springs, which took place on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, at the Amphitheater of the Acropolis  Museum. The event was organized by Enterprise Greece and the Ministry of Economy and Development, with the support of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) and the German Embassy in Athens.

The event was heavily attended, with more than 250 representatives from foreign embassies in Greece, banks, international financial institutions, investors, consultants and academics participating. Minister of Tourism Elena Kountoura, Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy Socrates Famelos, Deputy Minister of Economy and Development Stergios Pitsiorlas,  German Ambassador to Greece Jens Plötner, and Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development George Tziallas, opened the event.

During her presentation, Ms. Kountoura emphasized that health tourism is a priority for the Ministry of Tourism. She outlined the important institutional and legislative initiatives that have been carried out in the field of spa & wellness tourism over the last three years, in order to clear the way for the development of these properties.

On the immediate agenda are the development and modernization of the springs in Methana and Kaiafa now held by the Greek state property management agency PPCo; the privatization of various spa properties in Kythnos and Fthiotida later this year, and, within 2019, of the springs in Aidipsos, Platystomo and Ypati. Aris Xenofos, TAIPED Executive Director, said: "we have the opportunity to attract significant investment for the development of our thermal springs, that will draw high end visitors and add yet another pillar to our heavy industry, which is tourism."

Also notable was the presentation by Detlef Jarosch of German consulting group Project M, which was commissioned by TAIPED to examine the potential for integrated development at spa resorts (Aidipsos, Kamena Vourla, Thermopylae, Ypati, Platystomo and Kythnos). The objective is for Greece to become a brand name destination for high-quality spa & wellness tourism over the medium to long term, said Mr. Jarosch.

Joachim Lieber, Honorary Secretary General of the European Spa Association, pointed out that Greece today has a competitive advantage, unique conditions and is in an excellent position to develop spa facilities, but emphasized the need to certify the services provided, in order to ensure the highest quality.

At the close of the investment workshop, Elias Athanasiou, CEO of Enterprise Greece, summarized the main points discussed, saying that: "Greece is at an historical crossroads to develop an untapped and extremely rich national resource. Municipalities and local communities fully understand the potential; the central government, by making thermal  springs tourism a priority, has resolved all the outstanding regulatory issues, and international investors are following these developments with tremendous interest. On our part, Enterprise Greece has developed all the necessary tools to attract investment and to promote the sector in international markets.”

Please download the link below to see the presentations: