Tourism is one of the most important factors of economic development in Greece. The dominant model of growth which has been strategically selected for several decades in the majority of Greek destinations is that of mass organised tourism. Since the 1970s, when the ‘industrialisation’ of the tourism product began, tourism in Greece has acquired standardised and homogenised characteristics; this has not allowed the differentiation of the country’s product throughout the years. Competition has set new rules in the global tourism market, however. The challenge for Greece is to become a successful player in the global tourism market and to provide solutions to long-lasting structural problems within the context of sustainable tourism development. The following sections of this chapter will present some key characteristics of Greek tourism development, the evolution of tourism in the country, the planning and organising of the strategies implemented and the structure of tourism at national, regional and local levels. Finally, a SWOT analysis will be undertaken to provide an integrated picture of the features of tourism development in Greece.


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