Honored guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honor for me to welcome you on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism of the Hellenic Republic at this event where approximately 130 tour operators from Canada are expected to be present.

Greece is entering a new cycle of sustainable development with tourism remaining the flagship of the Greek economy, driven by an investment friendly legal framework promoted by the current government.

With more than 16,000 kilometers of coastline, with about 6,000 larger and smaller islands and islets, and an established position in the global tourism market, Greece presents excellent investment opportunities in tourism for summer holidays, but simultaneously provides attractive suggestions for thematic tourism all year round.

Τhe competitive advantages of Greece, namely (a) the rich cultural heritage, (b) the natural beauty and (c) the geographical diversity have attracted significant investments in the Greek tourism industry in recent years.

Despite the current political and economic turmoil in Europe, shaped by the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, global investors continue to demonstrate their trust in the Greek tourism industry. Eight out of ten investments realized in Greece in 2022 concerned the tourism industry.

A very recent example is the 2.3bn deal between the Sani/Ikos Group and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC (the largest investment in tourism globally post covid).

Furthermore, earlier in 2022, Goldman Sachs announced an additional investment of 130 mn in the Greek group.

Moreover, according to Prem Wacha, President of Fairfax Financial Holdings, “Greece is still –by far– the best European country for investment”, as he stressed in a keynote speech at the Toronto Economic Forum, where I had the pleasure of participating on October 2022.

Dear friends,

We wish to make Greece a resilient, accessible, and inclusive tourism destination for everyone. Τhere are opportunities for special forms οf tourism such as Cultural and Religious and of course Νautical Tourism.

In addition, now that the pandemic is almost over, Greece’s reputation both as a safe place and  a ‘healing’ destination as many point out, has reached new highs.

From a business perspective, health and wellness constitute a complete ecosystem comprising of many interrelated parts. These include the life sciences industry and healthcare services. But also: medical tourism, physical therapy, thermal springs, diet and nutrition, sports, and recreation. And, considering the growing needs of the Silver Economy, health and wellness can also include retirement destinations, support services and leisure activities for the elderly.

Greece has enormous potential in each of these areas. And the government is pursuing policies that are starting to produce results.

Last, but not least, with the favorable climate, the way of life, the authentic experiences and the gastronomy being comparative advantages of Greece, at the Ministry of Tourism we also highlight the uniqueness and advantages of Greece as a destination ideal for Digital Nomads that fully meets their special needs.

Therefore, take advantage of the beautiful Greek landscape and the captivating experiences it offers to the travel trade in Canada. Come to Greece, invest in tourism and be part of the next success story.

Thank you.