An economic analysis of foreign tourism to Greece : an examination of the growth and structure of foreign tourism to Greece 1960-84 with a planning model and marketing policy recommendations
Tourism - in particular its determinants and effects - is an issue presently attracting much attention worldwide. International tourism is considered to be the largest single item of the world's foreign trade and for some countries it is the most important export industry and earner of foreign exchange. In addition to its economic significance, tourism contributes to the quality of life. It produces intangible benefits which are directly related to the physical and psychological health of people, and the enjoyment of the right to rest and free time. This applies with equal validity to both domestic and international tourism; the latter establishing international economic, political and socio-cultural links, as well as strengthening the domestic character of a nation. At the individual level, tourism satisfies the need to travel in search for relief from the stress of work and the routine of daily life in the big urban centres. At macro (country) level, tourism is, therefore, a human and economic activity which concerns most of us in many parts of the world, directly or indirectly. One country for which foreign tourism is of considerable importance is Greece. In order to identify likely supply constraints (e. g. tourist accommodation and basic infrastructure) and to establish the major market segments of Greek tourism, the growth and structure of foreign tourism in Greece between 1960 and 1984 is examined. Special attention is given to the magnitude of tourism in Greece and its economic effects on the national economy. The non-economic effects of tourism are also considered. This is followed by the construction of a tourist profile so that the types of foreign visitors that go to Greece are identified. Subsequently, an econometric model is developed and empirical results provided to explain foreign tourist arrivals in Greece and to assess the impact of promotional expenditure by the Greek National Tourist Organisation in a number of foreign tourist generating markets. Finally, a tourism marketing planning model is devised which highlights the main variables affecting the international tourism marketing policies of the Greek National Tourist Organisation and, in particular, empirical results are used in conjunction with- a tourism market choice matrix for selecting market targeting strategies. The major conclusion emerging from the research is that as the tourist industry in Greece is of vital importance, the adoption of a strategic, interdisciplinary and integrated tourism planning process along with the establishment of a tactically orientated task unit could provide important improvements in the effectiveness and contribution of tourism in Greece. A few proposals regarding future policies by the Greek authorities are made, such as the establishment of a co-ordinating body orchestrating the efforts of the appropriate groups relevant to the multifaceted nature of tourism.