Impact of tourism in Greece

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Tourism Impact Greece - Corfu

The Economic Impact

In Greece, in 2006, Travel & Tourism is expected to post €37.2 billions of economic activity (Total Demand), growing to €70.3 billion by 2016.

Greece's Travel & Tourism Industry is expected to contribute 7.3% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2006 rising in nominal terms to €26.3 billion by 2016. The Travel & Tourism Economy contribution (per cent of total) should rise from 16.4% to 17.2% in this same period.

In the European Union, Travel & Tourism is expected to post average annualized gains of 3.5% between 2007 and 2016. For Greece, Travel & Tourism activity is expected to grow by 4% per annum in real terms between 2007 and 2016.

Greece's Travel & Tourism Economy employment is estimated at 867,000 jobs in 2006, 20% of total employment, or 1 in every 5 jobs. By 2016, this should total 1,216,000 jobs, 20.9% of total employment or 1 in every 4.8 jobs. The 449,000 Travel & Tourism Industry jobs account for 10.3% of total employment in 2006 and are forecast to total 601,000 jobs or 10.3% of the total by 2016.

Travel & Tourism is a major exporter, with inbound visitors injecting foreign exchange directly into the economy. Travel & Tourism exports in the European Union are expected to represent 13.0% of total exports in 2006. In Greece, exports make up a very important share of Travel & Tourism's contribution to GDP. Of Greece's total exports, Travel & Tourism is expected to generate 29.1% or €11.8 billions in 2006, increasing to €23.9 billions or 27.8% of total, in 2016.

Travel & Tourism is very significant for construction and manufacturing. In 2006, the public and private sectors combined are expected to spend 9.3% of total investment on new Travel & Tourism capital investment worldwide rising to 9.6% of the total in 2016. In the European Union, Travel & Tourism Capital Investment is expected to be in total the 8.6% of total regional capital investment in 2006. Travel & Tourism Capital Investment in Greece is estimated at €6.4 billions or 14.3% of total investment in 2006. By 2016, this should reach €12.9 billions or 14.8% of the total.

Nowadays bureaucracy in Greece is having a very negative impact on both operations and investment. In that nation, as in other countries, responsibility for policies and services that affect Travel & Tourism are spread among many ministries. However, co-operation between these different ministries and government departments appears to be seriously lacking which affects everything within the government and occurs serious issues.

The Environmental Impact

Travel & Tourism has the potential to bring enormous benefits to people and environments, especially in terms of providing an alternative source of income. However, if not developed in a sustainable way, the industry may result in negative impacts such as environmental degradation, alienation of local communities and, ultimately, destruction of the product itself. If Greece's Travel & Tourism is to realize its full potential, any threats to its sustainability must be firmly addressed and tackled before it finds itself in the same situation as some well-established resort destinations

such as Spain. Its future depends on preserving the combination of natural and cultural assets, as well as engaging the support of the communities that will be the life-blood of the industry. Integrated plans and planning processes should address issues such as airline carrying capacity, tourism supply and demand, resource utilization and economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts.

In every community there are those who believe that, if nature is to be preserved, it should be left completely untouched. While this belief is infinitely more worthy than a disregard for the environment in a quest for profits, a balance between the two extremes ensures the long-term economic well-being and preservation of an area.

A Greek island located in the Ionian Sea named Corfu has an extremely rich natural, historical and cultural heritage and the goal must clearly be to preserve it all. The key is to ensure that tourism development and environmental management are mutually supportive, and that integrated planning, policies and implementation provide for environmental impact assessments for all tourism projects. In addition, a list of valuable historic, natural, and cultural sites, which can be logically exploited for tourism, should be identified and steps taken to conserve those sites for long-term use.

Protection of the environment also means limiting construction (especially in terms of accommodation capacity) and ensuring cleanliness and effective sanitation services. Investment in infrastructure and facilities in Corfu appears to be inadequate. Firm government and strong legislative guidelines to ensure that regional and local authorities are adhering to sound development principles must be enforced.

The Socio-Cultural Impact

The socio-cultural impact of tourism is developed through an enormous range of aspects from the arts and crafts through to the fundamental behavior of individuals and collective groups. A factor often overlooked by researchers is the socio-cultural impact of tourism on the visitor population. Visitors to Corfu, for example, often find it hard to resist adopting the beach-based lifestyle and the Greek culinary particularity when they return home.

Generally there is a variety of ways in which we examine the relationships between tourism development and socio-cultural changes. The socio-cultural impact is based on the host-guest interaction and the behavior of tourists. In Corfu and generally in Greece the development of the elements above, every year is being improved because the whole economy of the country is based on tourism and for this reason another significant element is that tourist crime doesn't exist in Greece and therefore in Corfu. In other countries the tourists are the most common victims of the marginal populations of each place, but in Corfu the tourists are absolutely safe and crime incidents involving tourists are fiddling.

Corfu is also a very popular destination because of the local customs during the Easter period and other customs during the year. However, if the tourists are not aware of, or care of, the local customs they may behave in a way that creates several social frictions between tourists and residents. Corfu is quite rich in customs and each custom gives the tourist an opportunity to adapt to the local traditions.


Tourism: Principles and Practice (Cooper, Fletcher, Fyall, Gilbert, Wanhill),

Fourth edition.