Greece’s culture and tourism ministry will table a series of new draft laws in Parliament aimed at promoting special forms of tourism in the country, simplifying licensing procedures for hotels and setting up a special department offering information and services to investors.

In a written report to Parliament, Culture and Tourism Deputy Minister Giorgos Nikitiadis stressed that the ministry’s priority was creating a positive investment climate and establishing investment safety through a simplified and transparent framework of licensing tourism investments which will also protect the natural and cultural heritage of the country and will safeguard public interest.

The new department, designed by the ministry, will be responsible for receiving investment plans based on a series of criteria, so that evaluation and coordination of all ministry actions would be made by one agency (one stop shop).

Nikitiadis reminded the government’s two other initiatives, lower VAT rates for hotels and a new legislation on large investment plans (fast track investments) - were recently ratified in Parliament.

He also reassured that all ministry agencies have begun a series of contacts with interested parties ahead of revising a regulatory framework, promoting measures and incentives and abolishing any hurdles remaining.

A plan to promote special forms of tourism foresees favourable conditions for agro-tourism, spas and health tourism. The government has also earmarked 20 million euros, via the 4th Community Support Framework programme, to support alternative forms of tourism.