Sea tourism is a governmental priority and for the first time a specific policy for their development has been implemented according to Tourism Minister, Elena Kountouras. Regarding Ministry of Tourism and Greek Tourism Organization, a communication and marketing strategy for the promotion of sea tourism internationally, particular for cruise tourism, was designed and launched in January 2015:
- Greece has had a strong presence and active participation in international meetings of the global cruise industry to ensure the increase of the cruise in the medium term.
- The Ministry leadership held meetings directly with the Managing Directors of all the leading International Cruise Clubs and discussed specific possibilities and plans to strengthen their presence in Greece and in the future.
- For the first time, special agreements have been negotiated with European Touring Clubs that have cruise companies, such as TUI Group and MSC, to strengthen their activity in Greece.
- There have been negotiations with airlines and secured new direct air links that are key to tourism development and cruise support,in markets such as China and the US.
This policy has already given measurable results: from 2.2 million cruise visitors in 2014, within two years, cruise visitors exceeded 3.3 million in 2016, against the unpleasant geopolitical developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Home porting was boosted in 2016 as cruise passengers at Piraeus port increased from 66,268 in 2015 to 123,549 in 2016.