On his tour of top Greek destinations, Tourism development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos on Wednesday outlined the government's new tourism strategy to local government officials and tourism industry representatives in Santorini. He added that the country intended to mount a diplomatic campaign for the island's inclusion in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage monuments.
The expensive Euro and the Olympic Games in China have made the Europeans opt countries outside the Euro-zone for their holidays, obliging the Greek ministry to develop a new tourism strategy: emphasis on the quality of services offered and targeting quality visitors, which will be achieved through specialization of the tourism product in nine "vertical sectors".
Spiliotopoulos recently announced planned actions to render Santorini a "pilot island" of tourism development, with immediate priorities including the construction of a marina, which the island currently lacks, and restoration of the island's four windmills, which are an exquisite example of Cycladic architecture.
More than 1.6 million tourists visited Santorini in 2007, of which 777,000 arrived by cruise ship, while, according to local hoteliers, the 2008 tourism season was expected to end equally well or better.