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The award of the organization of the Olympic Games 2004 in the city of Athens was considered by many to be a great opportunity to address the far as possible many of the wrongs in tourism starting from Athens, tourism, which had irreparably damaged for many years. The tourist image of the wider Athens area, which, as is known, shouldered the brunt of the host and hospitality of both athletes and gymnasts, who were part in the Olympic Games in 2004, and those came to Athens to watch them, did not differ far from that of mainland Greece. Athens, as it was known, has always been an attraction for various types of tourists, the multitude of tourist and the cultural of lures. Nevertheless, however, was not before the Olympics able to offer high quality level of hospitality services to visitors and especially those who for whatever reasons they want to remain in Athens for periods in excess of normal. From Igoumenakis (Tourism. Interbooks, Athens, 2005) we understand that the Olympic games of Athens 2004 leverages the city branding, thus incorporating more tourists, but at the same time the city authorities must try hard in order to attract not only the interest of athletes but to capitalize the benefits of the game in order to attract the interest of tourists and to maintain the positive brand image created from the Olympic games. Wurzburger (Creative tourism: A global conversation: How to provide unique creative experiences for travelers worldwide, Sunstone Press, Santa Fe, 2009) argues that the notion of tourism has changed during the past years. While during the past decades tourism has relied in the concept of mass tourism, where cities developed massive concrete facilities without taking into consideration neither the quality of living for their citizens nor the service quality provided to tourists. Under mass tourist large areas in Greece, Spain and elsewhere were transformed from tranquil communities into overcrowded areas where the environment was damaged while on many cases mass tourism was accompanied with negative effects on social values and on some cases it even led on increase on crime rates. Nevertheless, mass tourism had one advantage that few could challenge it; it created jobs and brought welfare for rural and island areas which often were characterized from underdevelopment and poverty (Cooper in Worldwide destinations: The geography of travel and tourism, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Italy, 2005). Wurzburger (Creative tourism: A global conversation: How to provide unique creative experiences for travelers worldwide, Sunstone Press, Santa Fe, 2009) notes that this has changed during the past ten years; the need to create sustainable destinations but also competition from new markets that focus on particular market segments has changed the notion of tourist industry. The aim of the project is to examine the potentials of sport tourism in Greece. Almost 15 years after the Olympic games of Athens, Greece has lost a good chance to develop as a sports tourism destination. Through this literature review that will be made, it would be that Greece has several potentials however, till now it has not been able to capitalize the existing opportunities. Therefore, there is a need to work more on this.
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- Greece as a Sports Tourism Destination
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