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Greece overcomes the crisis with sport tourism

28 April 2009 / 15:04:07  GRReporter
2468 reads

Ivan Kolev


In times of the deepening crisis in the tourism sector, state officials and private businesses in Greece try actively to find additional ways to attract new categories of tourists – the lovers of the sport tourism. The trend originated during the 28th Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, when Greece gained experience in organizing big sport competitions. During the last few months, a characteristic trend in the tourist exhibitions and markets was the appearance of a new offer, which combined established tourist destinations with sites for practicing sports. Tourist agents report bigger sales with this combined offer.


In today’s life sports and tourism are very tightly connected. Millions of people travel and their main goal is to combine the change of environment and the feeling of vacation with their favorite sport. Many sports exhibitions are organized for those tourists. Tourism and the active relaxation are included in different activities, which are organized by the sport associations. Some of the most popular sport tourism activities are the mountain and road biking, rock climbing, rafting, canoe kayak, studying caves, fishing, sailing, golf, horse riding, skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing, underwater fishing, and waterskiing.


During the last few years, Greece has been trying to develop its tourism in that direction. A good example of this is that windsurfing academy in Rhodes, which organizes annual competitions on the Yalisos beach ever since 1992. During the years, the registration of participants has increased on average with 10% and in 2008, the number of tourists who came to watch the competition reached 26 thousand people.


Windsurfing is an exciting sport for everyone, independently of age and gender. It requires physical strength and good technique. Except for entertainment, windsurfing became a professional sport and since 1985 it is part of the Olympic Games.


The meteorological conditions in Greece are ideal and in the last few years we can see an increasing number of Greek and foreign surfing tourists. This year, in different parts of the country during the summer months, there will be many European and World championships, some of which are among the most prestigious worldwide.


In most of the organized beaches around the country, there are windsurfing schools, taught by qualified instructors.


The beaches suitable for windsurfing around Athens are Varkiza, Lavrio, Loutza, Rafina, and Maraton.

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