The hospitality and friendliness of the residents, the stay, the sense of security, the gastronomy and the beauty of the landscapes constitute the top 5 criteria for the satisfaction of tourists in Southern Europe (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Turkey and Croatia).
In these 5 crucial dimensions of tourist experience, Greece is more competitive than it is and offers very high satisfaction. Our country, however, lags significantly against competing countries in other material and intangible elements and dimensions of experience, such as cleanliness of individual destinations, information, urban planning, easy access to airports, road infrastructure and experience in archaeological sites.
These are the main conclusions of an INSETE study entitled “Evaluation of the brand” Greece “and comparison with competition in Southern Europe based on the experience of tourists”, presented on 27 March by the Director General of the Institute Mr. Ilias Kikilias and Scientific Director Mr. Aris Ikkos.
Specifically according to the study:
Criteria and dimensions of the tourist experience, which are the main competitive advantages of Greece – a common characteristic of the human factor.
- The friendliness of the residents and the very positive performance in serving visitors from human resources to accommodation, catering, museums, public transport, as well as the sense of security and good value for money are the basic intangible factors that make our country is extremely competitive as a tourist destination.
- High levels of satisfaction with accommodation and quality of food, also, play a key role in shaping the visitor experience. It is worth noting that among tourists who pay particular attention to gastronomy (foodies), Greece offers highly competitive experiences both in terms of variety and choice of food, as well as in most other factors that are of interest to the specific category of visitors, such as entertainment, the sense of security etc.
- Excellent is also the experience of the beaches, with the exception of the cleanliness where our country lags behind the competition.
- At the level of public transport, Greece is at acceptable levels, slightly higher than competition and especially in terms of prices.
- The data to which Greece is disadvantaged are mainly related to the operation of destinations (cleanliness, information, unregulated urban planning, variety of activities)
- Greece lags considerably against competing countries in issues related to cleanliness, unpredictable urban planning & ease of navigation, road infrastructure and signaling to tourist destinations.
- As far as cultural resources are concerned, Greece scores positively on the classic product (historical monuments, sights, etc.), but the need to develop a wider variety (product, not resource) – eg Byzantine, modern and contemporary Greek culture – but also to enhance the presentation of cultural resources in more telling ways than the basic documentation offered. Negative is the image of other factors that are equally important for tourists with an interest in culture, such as the situation and cleanliness inside and outside the archaeological sites, the image of the cities, but also the range of shopping choices, options for recreational activities, etc.
- Similarly it seems that the country suffers greatly in providing adequate information both through information centers (info-centers) and the quality of available mobile applications (mobile apps).
- Limited choices and low value for money shopping are also seen as a factor that needs improvement especially in city break destinations.
- Finally, despite the country’s high score of visitor satisfaction and value for money, Greece is disadvantaging competing countries in terms of allowing visitors to resume their journey. The intention of tourists to return to our country can be enhanced by providing more combined and innovative experiences, reinforcing the existing competitive advantages mentioned above.
The study was conducted by TCI Research, on behalf of INSETE, following the TRAVELSAT methodology. This methodology calculates the Competitiveness Index of Destinations based on the experiences of tourists. The TRAVELSAT methodology was awarded in 2011 by the World Tourism Organization for its innovation and excellence. It has been applied to all 5 mainlands in more than 100 cases and has now created the largest database of travelers experience.
International travelers with at least 1 overnight stay at the destination
All times from all markets
Weighted market sample of each country
Sample of Greece: 654 interviews (19% Athens, 50% islands, 25% Northern Greece and 6% Peloponnese) for trips between 2015-17.
Sample of Southern Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Turkey and Croatia): 6,543 interviews.