The Governor of the Bank of Greece Yannis Stournaras underlined that a sustainable debt necessary, so that Greece may return to the markets in 218, during his speech at the annual meeting of the association of tourist businesses (SETE).

According to the central banker, the country may achieve a 2.7% GDP growth rate in 2017, provided the second review of the Greek program was concluded swiftly.

Regarding the tourist industry, Stournaras commented that the rise in non-performing loans in the tourism – 54.3% in the first half of 2016, which is greater than the 45.1% rate in the economy as a whole – be investigated and addressed,

Later on the Governor stressed that there are promising signs for gradual economic recovery in 2016 and predicted that this will carry on in 2017 and 2018, provided that the reforms and privatizations agreed with the institutions are adopted and loans are disbursed on time.

In relation to the tourist sector, the central banker argued that it needs to adapt its growth model and seek to develop both ts product and make it more ‘specialized’ to offset the lower tourism revenues in spite of increased numbers. As such an improved infrastructure is required, for which he explained that state property must be used and settling outstanding issues relating to spatial planning for attract new investments.

Among others, the central banker called for a reduction in the cost of flights to Greece, to increase the competitiveness of the Greek tourist product, as well as improvements to regional airports, stronger competition between airlines, more emphasis on marinas and other marine tourism infrastructure, as well as improved port facilities to encourage cruise tourism.