Volume 7 Issue 1 Feburary 2009 Applied Research Note 2

Government, Local State and Private Sector Groups’ interaction in the Context of Producing Sport Tourism Policy in Greece: A strategic perspective

Ourania Vrondou & Athanasios Kriemadis

University of Peloponnese

Nikos Kartakoullis

University of Nicosia

Abstract: Purpose of the study: The present study aims to investigate the broader influential industry and public administration environment in the context of determining the extent and potential of sport tourism developments in Greece. Method: Formal interviews with a wide range of top officials from all levels of sport tourism policy making and implementation are employed to highlight the parameters influencing sports tourism programs in the context of differentiating the saturated tourism product. Findings: The study reveals the difficulties of transforming the existing central and local government structure towards establishing a sports tourism developmental policy scheme within a hesitating traditional tourism environment. Practical implications: While those forces determining the nature and scale of tourism developments are highly interdependent and at the same time defensive, this by no means minimises the importance of attempting to design and implement mechanisms that would shape the future in ways that increase the possibility that desirable, sustainable sport tourism programmes can be realised. Originality/value: The results of the present analysis are generalizable, or at least useful, to other mass tourism destinations in the Mediterranean, which are developing sport forms of tourism.

Key words: sport tourism policy, tourism development, central government, tourism business

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