Greece plans to offer wreck diving activities to the tourists in an effort to boost tourism, announced Greek Tourism Minister, Harry Theocharis. Diving in old sunken ships has been hugely popular around the Mediterranean region and now it is also part of the Greek strategy to increase tourism revenues by 10% in 2020.
The minister explained that laws permitting the creation of underwater diving parks are currently being discussed. The country plans to grant access to shipwrecks sunk more than 50 years ago, which were not accessible for diving until now. Mr. Theocharis said that a bill will be presented next month to open the remains of ships sunk between 1860 and 1970.
Greece, which has just come out of a decade of the financial crisis, relies heavily on tourism to boost economic growth and employment. Tourism accounts for 25% of the GPD and employs 20% of Greek labor.
Tourism revenues in Greece already increased by 12% in 2019, going from 16 to 18.1 billion euros a year, however, the country expects to increase arrivals by at least 5%, surpassing the 31 million visitors in 2019, and setting the forecast to 32.5 million visitors for 2020. The wreck diving opportunity is expected to further boost tourism in the country.