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Greece and Russia: Framework Agreement On Tourism

kefalogianni-russiaGreek Minister of Tourism Olga Kefalogianni visited Russia, which is now developing into a main tourist market for Greece and stated that the Russian tourist flow to our country is completely satisfactory.

The agreement will aim to further strengthen the tourism relations of Greece and Russia. She noted that Greece is a strong and credible destination for religious tourism, maritime tourism, sports tourism and health tourism. The goal is to make Greece the first tourist destination for Russian tourists next year by building the bonds of friendship between the two countries. The main idea is to showcase new tourism areas and to over distribute the tourism in Greece throughout all seasons.

The Greek delegation, which also involved the President and Vice President of Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT) P. Leivadas and Christos Kaparounakis, has already met with the Deputy Minister of Culture Ala Manilova. They mainly discussed the preparation and implementation of yearly events like Greece and Russia Friendship in 2016. Manilova said that the Ministry of Culture in Russia will try to miximize effectiveness in tourism with Greece, a country that has a lot in common with Russia. She added that Russia is going to contribute so that tourists, especially the youth, consider Greece as a first travel choice.

The Russian side suggested diversification and de-monopolization of tourist flows from Greece to Russia’s regions by developing online a series of Russian cities outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg , even with smaller and old Russian cities, such as the historic Velikiy Novgorod in northwest Russia. This will practically reduce the cost of travel and tourism packages.

Kefalogianni expressed her contentment for the preliminary data of the last season as Russian tourists have increased in Greece. The visas for Russian citizens have increased by 60% in comparison with last year.

When speaking to the press after the meeting, Kefalogianni thanked the thousands of Russians that visited Greece this year showing confidence in the country.

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