Greek Hoteliers Highlight Infrastructure Issues Over Overtourism


During the Hellenic Hoteliers Federation’s 2nd Regional Conference held in Heraklion, Crete, on Tuesday, Federation President Yiannis Hatzis emphasized that Greece’s tourism challenges stem from inadequate infrastructure rather than overtourism.

Hatzis used Majorca as an example, noting that despite being smaller and more densely populated than Crete, Majorca handles more tourist arrivals. He argued that limiting tourism demand is counterproductive, advocating instead for a strategic 10-year plan to enhance infrastructure and services.

Hatzis highlighted the ongoing construction of the Kastelli airport and the BOAK north road axis as pivotal projects that could transform Crete’s tourism landscape. He emphasised that investing in quality hotel facilities and integrating cultural and culinary experiences, while respecting the environment, could significantly boost tourism. Hatzis asserted that tourism creates value across all economic sectors, not just those directly involved.

Hellenic Hoteliers Federation President Yiannis Hatzis speaking during the federation’s 2nd Regional Conference

Hellenic Chamber of Hotels President Alexandros Vassilikos echoed Hatzis’s sentiments, stressing the need for quality-focused strategies rather than just aiming for record arrivals. Vassilikos also called for regulating short-term rentals, revealing that over 150,000 beds are available for short-term lease on Crete alone. He announced the release of a study examining the impact of Airbnb-style rentals on local communities.

The conference also addressed water and waste management, with Heraklion Hoteliers Association President Nikos Halkiadakis predicting a 3-4 percent rise in arrivals to Crete this year, noting that hotels and flights are nearly fully booked. Crete Regional Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis highlighted the need to incorporate climate crisis impacts into tourism policies.

Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni, speaking via video call, emphasised sustainability, balance, and environmental protection as key government priorities for the tourism sector.

(Source: GTP)

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