There are significant investment opportunities in several sectors of the Greek tourism market, especially in the upgrading and construction of hotels, establishing specialized forms of tourism, the construction of marinas, and the creation of parks organized around specific themes such as wildlife or history, Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis said in his address to the online 22nd annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum on Wednesday.
He noted that eight tourism-related investments amounting to nearly 1 billion euros have been approved using fast-track procedures despite the pandemic, while more than 40 new hotels have opened in central Athens in the last year, demonstrating the momentum of the tourism market and how investments can transform the city center.
Theocharis drew special attention to the modernization of the legislative framework for attracting strategic investments (including the Golden Visa program) that finally set the stalled investment at Elliniko in motion and could potentially attract millions of tourists.
The annual online event, this year titled “Greece – Looking Ahead with Confidence” and which concluded on Wednesday, heard Theocharis discuss the good cooperation between the public and private sectors in managing the pandemic, which allowed for the successful and safe opening of Greek tourism.
“Now is the time to come and invest in Greece. Greece is changing. Invest because Greece has more than 800,000 hotel beds, direct flights from major international airports to all destinations and is an all-year tourism destination,” he added.
Speaking at the same online event late on Tuesday, Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras said the country will achieve an average growth rate of 3.5% in the years 2021 to 2030, provided it remains committed to structural reforms.
The central banker noted that his projected figures were based on the €72 billion in financial support that Greece will absorb from the EU’s Structural Funds and Cohesion Funds, and also from the Next Generation EU recovery response plan to the coronavirus crisis.
The proposals included in the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) plan for Greece are fully aligned with the Bank of Greece’s recent policy proposals, Stournaras noted. He added that the new bad loans from the pandemic are estimated at €8-10 billion.
This article was first published on ekathimerini.com