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Greece: New pseudo "Sustainable" Tourism Development Bill passes through parliament

Added 2023-10-26


The Ministry of Tourism bill entitled "Provisions for the Enhancement of Sustainable Tourism Development" was passed on 25 October 2023 in a Plenary Session of the Greek Parliament thanks to the votes of the governing 'Nea Demokratia' conservative party and of the ultra-right 'Spartiates' party. According to the government, the new law promotes the strengthening of sustainable tourism development. Among other provisions, the new law establishes a Regional Tourism Council, a Wine Tourism Council, an Observatory for Coastal and Marine Tourism in the Mediterranean while it "ensures the more efficient operation" of the National Observatory for Sustainable Tourism Development. On the contrary, the law abolishes a recently established joint stock company for the Hot Springs of Greece (probably due to opposition from municipalities that are the traditional owners of Hot Springs) and a Commission for the famous Shipwreck Beach of Zakynthos, probably because the beach is no longer open to visitors due to landslides. The opposition, that voted against the bill, speaks of "sloppiness and fragmentation" (SYRIZA-PS) of mere 'adjustments to facilitate business groups' (KKE) and 'a drop in the ocean' (PASOK). It is characteristic, however, that almost all political forces are still focusing on tourism development, even 'sustainable', instead of overtourism and tourism degrowth.