Greek citizens, who in their overwhelming majority recognize the importance of tourism for the national economy, are becoming skeptical in relation to its effects on their daily lives, on the environment and on the character of individual destinations, while they are troubled by the spread of short-term rentals as well as increases in the cost of vacations, according to the findings of surveys presented last week at Kathimerini’s “Reimagine Tourism in Greece” conference.

At a time when interest in the environment is at a high among Greeks and foreigners, the majority of medium and small-sized mainly Greek tourism businesses declare that they cannot, or do not know how to invest in sustainability and are waiting for the relevant initiatives from the state, both at the level of guidance as well as funding.

As Daniel Levine, an expert in global tourism trends, pointed out at the start of the event, “only when the residents of a destination are happy, are their visitors happy.”

Doug Lansky, a sustainable tourism expert, explained that tourism tends to decline in countries where crowds of visitors overwhelm destinations unless everyone involved realizes in time that they must constantly reinvent themselves and respect sustainability rules.