The country in southeast Europe is known as Greece. The Hellenic Republic is the official name of the country. The population of Greece is around eleven million, in accordance to the census of the year of 2011. The national capital of Greece is Athens, which is also the largest city. Piraeus is included in its urban area. At the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, Greece is strategically located. However, with Turkey to the northeast, Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia to the north and Albania, the country has its land borders.
To the south of mainland Greece lays the Mediterranean Sea, to the west lays the Ionian Seato and to the east lays the Aegean Sea. Featuring a vast number of islands, about fourteen thousand out of which two hundred and twenty seven are inhabited, inclusive of the Ionian Islands, the Cyclades, the Dodecanese and Crete, at thirteen thousand six hundred and seventy six km and eight thousand four hundred and ninety eight in length, Greece has the eleventh longest coastline in the world (Hammond, 1997). The cradle of western civilization is generally considered as roots to the civilization of ancient Greece and is traced by modern Greece.
The country is the birthplace of western drama, including comedy and tragedy, major mathematical and scientific principles, political science, historiography and western literature, the Olympic Games, western philosophy and democracy. In the 17th UNESCO world heritage sites which is located in Greece, this legacy is partly reflected and ranks it thirteen in the world and seven in Europe. Following the Greek war of independence, in the year of 1830, the Modern Greek state was established. Since the year of 1981 and 2001, Greece has been a member of the euro zone and the European Union and is a founding member of the UN.
According to the year of 2010, inclusive of the world twenty first highest quality of life, with particularly high standards of living and an advanced high-income economy, Greece has successfully become a developed country. The country is an essential regional inventory in the Balkans, where economy of Greece is the largest one. This research report will reflects the tourism in Greece along with the description of the attractions. Furthermore, the analysis and description of the environmental impacts are discussed along with the creativity, suitability and practicality of methods and strategies.
Contributing fifteen percent of the national gross domestic product, more than seventeen million people are attracted by Greece annually. Since antiquity for its long and rich history, beaches and Mediterranean coastline, for international visitors, Greece has been a significant attraction. The roots of tourism are traced to the ancient times of Greece (Dritsakis, 2004). The famous centers of philosophy and science of Greek, like, Thebes, Corinth and Athens, were visited by a large number of Romans, which was triggered by the cultural exchange that started between the two civilization, when Greece was annexed by the Roman Empire, partly because Roman citizenships were granted to the Greeks and Greece has become a province of the Roman Empire.
In the era of 1960s till 1970s, tourism started to flourish in modern-day Greece. It is also known as mass tourism. Over the years, an increase in international tourists was witnessed by the country, during that time, and other facilities and large-scale construction projects were undertaken. The tourism in the country was a boost by the international events, like, the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 and the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, that both used to take place in Athens. While, the flow of tourists in the country was also contributed by the nationally-funded large-scale infrastructure, like, the New Acropolis Museum.
Over nineteen million tourists were welcomed by the country in the year of 2009, which was a significant increase in compare to the year of 2008, in which seventeen million tourists were welcomed by the country. Followed by those from the Africa, Oceania, Asia and Americas, and within the European Union, majority of tourists in the country are originated (Briassoulis & Et.al, 1993). In compare to any other nationality, the country was visited by more British people, making up the fifteen percent of tourists in the country in the year of 2007 alone. In that year, the country was visited by one million Bulgarians, one million Albanians and two million Germans, additionally.
From countries in Europe, the Greece was visited by ninety two percent of tourists, in the year of 2007. Due to the crisis between Turkey and Israel, in number of tourists from Israel, there has been a significant increase, in the last years. Near some of the most popular attractions in the country, like, Pella, Mount Olympus and Halkidiki, in northern Green, Central Macedonia is the most-visited region of Greece. Thessaloniki is the 2nd largest city of Greece and the birth place of Alexander the Great is Pella. Followed by Peloponnese and Attica, in the year of 2009, Greece was visited by eighteen percent of the total number of tourists, which were welcomed greatly by Central Macedonia.
With six million tourists, Central Greece is the country’s second most-visited region, and with 6.5 million tourists, the country’s most-visited region is Northern Greece (Leontidou & Et.al, 1991). The Chinese people voted Greece as their first choice of tourist destination, in accordance to a survey conducted in the year of 2005, in China. Likewise, China, Greece was defined as the tourist most favorite destination for its citizens by Austria, in the year of 2006.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world is Greece. There is a wide variety of tourist attractions in Greece for exploration, with over towering mountain ranges, idyllic beaches, historic sites spanning 4 millennia and 60 inhabited islands. In the field of tourism, Greece still holds its reputation as the number one tourists’ destinations, despite the debt crisis with protest and credit downgrades by day. Something for everyone is truly offered by Greece as throughout Greece, are many medieval buildings, various churches, and remains of ancient civilizations that are the main historical ruins. The answer for great experiences, from beach bums for food lovers and from nature lovers to museum enthusiasts, is Greece.
In northern Greece, a peninsula and a mountain are known as Mount Athos. In twenty Eastern Orthodox monasteries, some fourteen hundred monks are housed by the peninsula, which is the easternmost ‘leg’ of the larger Halkidiki peninsula (Baloglu & Mangaloglu, 2001). Only male’s entrance is allowed, and strict control exists in Mount Athos which is an autonomous state under the sovereignty of Greek. In the fourteen and fifteen centuries, Mystras serves as the capital of the Peloponnesus, ruled by relatives of the Byzantine emperor and is located near ancient Sparta.
Throughout the Ottoman period, the site remained inhabited but standing in a beautiful landscape and leaving only the breathtaking medieval ruins, in the year of 1832, the city was abandoned. On the islands of Rhodes, Lindos is made up of a network of cobbled streets amid whitewashed houses and is a medieval village on the island of Rhodes. Offering beautiful views of the surrounding coastline and harbors, the acropolis of Lindos rises above the town. From the town center, Saint Paul beach and Lindos beach are only a short distance. In Southwest Crete, the Samaria Gorge is a sixteen kilometer long canyon.
More than a quarter million tourists walk the Samaria Gorge annually and which is an extremely popular act. Four to seven hours are taken by the walk to emerge at Agia Roumeli on the Libyan sea, cutting between vertical cliffs through the mountains and passing through forests of ancient pines and cypresses. For the magical colors of the water, the world popular tourist attractions are Myrtos Beach, which is located in the north-west of Kefalonia. With the bright white of the smooth marble pebbles of the beach, the turquoise and blue colors of the sea contrast sharply.
Beauty is added by the tall cliffs and the steep mountains behind Myrtos beach. Previously Myrtos has been voted as the best beach in Greece, twelve times, for all these reasons. In Greek religion, Delphi was home to the oracle and sanctuary of Apollo in ancient times. On a hill, the ancient theatre of Delphi was built, and a view of the spectacular landscape below and an entire sanctuary was provided to the spectators. Five thousand spectators could be seated in it and is now in Greece, is one of the top tourist attractions. Situated on top of several rock pillars, a collection of six monasteries was amazingly situated and in central Greece, was suspended in the air, and is known as Meteora.
In the fourteen century, in Meteora, the first monastery was built. To haul up both people and goods, large nets or long ladders were required as access to the monasteries was deliberately difficult. Since the ropes were replaced only when the Lord let them break, a leap of faith was quite essential for it. Amongst the Greek islands, as a cosmopolitan tourist attraction, and as one of the best tourist attractions in Greece, Mykonos is widely recognized and is popular. With a maze of whitewashed step lanes and tiny streets, Mykonos Town is a stunning picturesque Cycladic town, and as evidenced by many of nightclubs and bars, it is also known for its intense and diverse nightlife and sandy beaches.
One of the most famous Greece tourist attractions is the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis, and it is claimed that without visiting this temple, a visit to Athens is not completed. Replacing an older temple that was destroyed by the Persians, in 447 BC, the construction of the Parthenon started and in 432 BC, it got ended. The Parthenon has served as a powder magazine, a mosque, a church, and fortress and as a temple, during its long life. In the Cyclades group of the Greek islands, Santorini is a volcanic island. It is famous for its white-washed houses, amazing sunsets and fantastic views. The capital of Santorini is Fira, whose white cobblestone streets bustle with cafes, hotels, tavernas and shops and is also a marriage of Cycladic and Venetian architecture.
A wide variety of tourist facilities are offered by Greece, as a developed country and highly dependent on tourism. Since the Athens Olympic Games of the year 2004, the infrastructure of tourism in Greece has been considerably improved and with a number of significant projects particularly in areas with less mass-tourism, continues to expand more. The cornerstone of the national tourism policy of Greek is conference tourism, which is targeted at cultural, business or academic markets. With strong support from local authorities, as a result, tax allowance, employment and leasing subsidies and lucrative cash grants are offered by the government of Greece to expand existing conference facilities and establish new ones.
In overnight stays for conferences, Greece was ranked 8th in the world, according to a recent report in Incentive Travel and Meeting. A worldwide increase in revenues in business travel to Greece was projected by figured from the Tourism Satellite Accounting Research. Services, such as, repairs, telephony, electricity and water, fuel, berths are provided by fourteen thousand six hundred and sixty one mooring places and fifty one marinas in Greece. From the center of Athens, in Greece, just a few kilometers, are some of the busiest and developed marinas.
On the south coast of Athens, an aggregated capacity of more than eighteen hundred vessels is occupied by the marinas of Flisyos and Alimos. There are seven hundred and fifty two Thermo springs in Greece, out of which, the National Institute for Mineral and Geographical Research has classified them as therapeutic. In the Hellenic Republic, several kinds of museums are located. In the big cities, like Athens, most of these museums can be found. The National Archaeological Museum and New Acropolis Museum are located in Athens. The Athens National Gallery has a vast number of galleries. Similar to the Byzantine Museum, there are many museums in Thessaloniki. However, there are nearly one hundred and fifty museums accessible for the tourists all over the country.
Especially in terms of providing an alternative source of income, and to bring enormous benefits to environments and people, enough potential is possessed by tourism and travel. However, negative impacts, like, destruction of the product itself, alienation of local communities and environmental degradation can be resulted from the industry if not developed in a sustainable way (Briassoulis & Straaten, 1992). Before the tourism and travel of Greece finds it in the similar situation like some well-established resort destinations, like, Spain, full potential must be realized and any threats to its sustainability must be properly addressed.
Its future depends upon engaging the support of the communities and on preserving the combination of cultural and natural assets, which will be the life-blood of the industry. Issues, like, environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts, resource utilization, demand and supply of tourism and airline carrying capacity, must be addressed by the planning processes and integrated planning. People who believe that nature should be left completely untouched if it has to be preserved, such people exist in every community.in compare to a disregard for the environment in a quest, this belief is infinitely more worthy for profits, whereas, the preservation is an area and the long-term economic well-being are ensured by a balance between the two extreme.
The goal must clearly be to preserve the cultural, historical and rich natural heritage of Corfu, which is a Greek island situated in the Ionian Sea. To ensure that environmental assessments for all tourism project is provided by the policies and implementation and integrated planning, along with the environmental management and tourism development to be mutually supportive. However, steps must be taken to identify and conserve the list of cultural, natural and historic sites for long-term, such sites can be logically exploited for tourism.
Especially in terms of accommodation capacity, limiting construction and ensuring effective sanitation and cleanliness services are also referred as protection of the environment. However, in Corfu, there are inadequate investment in facilities and infrastructure. To ensure that local and regional authorities are adhering to sound development principles, string legislative guidelines and firm government must be enforced.
By the year of 2016, the tourism and travel of Greece is expected to grow to seventy billion as it posted thirty seven billions of economic activity in the year of 2006. In the year of 2006, seven percent was contributed by the tourism and travel industry of Greece to gross domestic profit (Dritsakis, 2004). In this same period, the tourism and travel economy contribution is expected to rise to seventeen percent from sixteen percent. Average annualized gains of three percent are expected to be posted by tourism and travel between the years of 2007 till 2016, in the European Union.
In real terms, the tourism and travel activity of Greece between the years of 2007 till 2016 is expected to grow by four percent per Annum. In the year of 2006, twenty percent of total employment was posted by the economy employment of tourism and travel of Greece. However, it is expected to grow to twenty percent of total employment by years of 2016. In the year of 2006, ten percent of total employment was accounted by the tourism and travel industry jobs. With inbound visitors, injecting foreign exchange directly into the economy, the principal exporter of Greece is tourism and travel.
In the year of 2006, in the European Union, thirteen percent of total exports were represented by the tourism and travel exports. A very important share of contribution to gross domestic product is made by exports of tourism and travel of Greece. In the year of 2006, twenty nine percent was generated by tourism and travel of Greece is total exports (Diakomihalis & Lagos, 2008). However, in the year of 2016, it is expected to increase by twenty three percent. For manufacturing and constructing, the most significant area is tourism and travel. On new tourism and travel capital investment worldwide, nine percent of total investment was spent by the private and public sectors, in the year of 2006.
In the year of 2006, eight percent of total regional capital investment was contributed by tourism and travel capital investment, in the European Union. In the year of 2006, fourteen percent of total investment was estimated by tourism and travel capital in Greece. Currently a highly negative impact is observed both on investment and operations by bureaucracy in Greece (Thompson, 2010). Responsibility for services and policies are spread among many ministries in that nation that also affect the tourism and travel, like in other countries. However, serious issues and everything within the government is affected by the co-operation between these different government and ministries departments.
The behavior of tourists and the host-guest interaction are the basis of the socio-cultural impact. Since the whole economy of the country is based on tourism, therefore, the development of the elements is being improved every year, generally in Greece. However, in Greece, tourist crime does not exist. The most common victims of the marginal populations of each place are generally the tourists, in other countries, whereas, the crime incidents involving tourists are fiddling and the tourists are absolutely safe in Corfu. During the year of other customs and local customs and the Easter period, a highly popular destination is Corfu.
However, several social frictions between residents and tourists can be created if the tourists do not care and aware of the local customs. To adapt to the local traditions, an opportunity is provided to every tourist by each custom as Corfu is quite rich in customs.
Rendering Greece as a major tourist destination worldwide, about fourteen million visitors are received every year by Greece, which is a country of eleven million inhabitants. The major tourist attractions are the cultural, diverse natural and rich heritage, like, traditional villages, antiquities, islands and beaches and also lifestyle and hospitality (Stamboulis & Skayannis, 2003). The image of the country has been considerably improved, and additional growth in tourism is spurred with growth of domestic tourism, by the services and accommodation and the associated improvements in special and basic tourist infrastructure and the successful organization of the Olympic Games of the year 2004.
Eight million jobs indirectly and directly are accounted by the tourism that contributes up to seventeen percent to the gross domestic product and is a main sector in the economy of Greek. Particularly, in areas with limited other options, such as small islands and mountain areas, there are significant multiplier effects and substantial contribution to regional and local development by tourism to the economy of Greek. The increasing pressures on natural resources, like energy and water is created, ecosystem functions and natural habitat are threatened, wastes are produced, and local environmental systems are further aggravated, are the impacts of tourism on the environment.
By enhancement of cultural and natural heritage, by increasing support for the protection and the environmental management and by raising awareness on environmental issues, tourism also contributes positively. However, besides tourism, the negative impacts in Greece are also contributed by the major structural changes, like, infrastructure residences and development, the changing needs for space for the location of economic activities and the expansion of cities, and the urbanization sprawl and rural-urban shifts. Broader changes in production and consumption patterns are reflected by a lot of impacts attributed to tourism.
Therefore, in Greece, tourism has also an influential role for environmental conservation and is very significant for economic and social development. This is the significant reason due to which it is observed in a context of a strategy for sustainable development. While seeking to improve contribution to other policy areas, tourism must also be seen as one of a range of policy areas leading to sustainability (Buhalis & Deimezi, 2004). With environmental protection, an intricate relationship is also acquired by tourism as the tourism itself might get affected by degradation of the environment and the impacts of tourism can also affect environmental resources and quality.
A large variety of actors are involved by tourism as it is a product of several factors and a complex activity. The Ministry of tourism was created to regulate activities that shape the tourist product. Within a strategy for sustainable development, the development of tourism is the outlook by the ministry. In terms of two major goals, like, enriching and broadening the product and upgrading the quality of the tourist product, the competitiveness of Greek tourism, in this broader perspective, is sought. The first goal seeks to expand the opportunities for the development of individual types of tourism, inclusive of ecotourism and the second one through measures, like, environmental protection, seeks to improve tourism destinations.
The local authorities, the prefectures and the administrative regions and several other ministries, like, merchant marine and transport, are also indirectly and directly involved with tourism. Tourism is affected indirectly and directly by the ministry of public, planning, and environment works to a large extent, through the protection of the environment, the development of basic infrastructure and regulating land-uses. Tourism is introduced in Greece through several ways. In a context of sustainable development, tourism at a policy level is seen in terms of development, environment and culture.
To provide guidelines on the basis of the comparative advantages, while respecting the capacity to accommodate tourism pressures, for the form and type of tourism development in various areas of the country, a master plan for tourism is under preparation (Buhalis, 2001). Special provisions for environmental management, environmental protection, heritage conservation and environmental auditing activities, like, use of alternative energy sources and energy saving, are included by the activities if the CSF-the six-year and the Investment Law Program, which is funded through the European Commission.
To the EIA review, all new developments are subjected. Waste production facilities are provided to yachting harbors and waste water treatment plans are provided to most coastal cities. To sustain human activities in a compatible way with environmental conservation in protected areas, ecotourism is promoted. To develop tourism as a basis through the development of linkages to cultural activities and local products and the development of basic income, for providing employment opportunities and supplementary income to rural communities, programs of rural tourism are sought.
To sensitize on tourism issues inclusive of environmental management, a specific awareness campaign has been launched countrywide. Tourism is also launched in a sustainable development context by a number of national, regional and local initiatives, like, cultural itineraries, eco-paths in nature, networks of actors and individual projects, at a project level. Through international level programs, like, UNEP-MAP, CSF and various EU programs and initiatives, like, Interreg for interregional cooperation and life-environment, many of these are funded.
The majority of them address to tourism issues and provided the broader umbrella in most cases by sustainable development since tourism is essential sectors. The NGOs and private sector are active actors, in several of these activities.
The fact that tourism development is still at a balance with the particular and the environment characteristics of each place because of the fragmentation of the territory, like, coastal areas, small bays and small islands, relatively low intensity and small scale of development, it provided benefits to Greece, unlike other tourist destinations (Lathiras & Siriopoulos, 1998). The development of sustainable tourism is encouraged by the development of the policy framework, within a context of a strategy for sustainable development and taking into account the environmental dimension.
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