Nautical Tourism Outperforms

The key to attracting high-income tourists is investing in quality, says President of Vernicos Yachts George Vernicos. Mr. Vernicos is also General Secretary of the Greek Tourism Confederation, Honorary President of the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association, and a board member of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping.

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What kind of growth rates has your business been experiencing over the past few years?

We believe that the average growth of nautical tourism is greater than the average growth rate seen in the Greek tourism sector. In 2018, tourism increased by 10.8% in comparison with 2017, resulting in 30.12 million arrivals (excluding cruise arrivals that rose to 2.95 million) and a 10% rise in foreign currency to €6.09 billion. Most growth was seen in tourists originating from Northern Europe and the U.S.

On a national level, what do you believe Greece needs to do to draw more high-income tourists?

Everyone wants to attract high-income tourists. The keyword for succeed is ‘quality’. Quality in investments, in infrastructure projects, in provided services, and, of course, a good strategy. This is what we are trying to promote at SETE, which was created by giving emphasis to quality in tourism.

What investment/expansion plans do you have for the future?

We continuously invest in high-quality services, experienced employees, and our good brand name in the market.

What is the main risk Greek tourism faces?

The main risk for Greek tourism is the confidence of European citizens in European growth and the consumer confidence indicator. If European citizens are optimistic about their economy, Greece is for sure a high-priority destination for them. Regarding nautical tourism, it’s recognized that Greece is a yachting paradise.

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