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Greece and China Sign Deal to Boost Tourism

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Greece and China agreed to strengthen tourism between the two countries on Monday. Credit: Greek Ministry of Tourism

Greece and China signed a deal on Monday with the goal of strengthening tourism between the two countries in the future.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias and Xiao Junzheng, the Chinese Ambassador to Greece, signed the deal in Athens.

The joint action plan between the two countries runs for two years, from 2022 to 2024, and is aimed at bolstering the relationship between Greece and China in the tourism sector, specifically in terms of cultural, medical, and wedding tourism.

“The bonds of friendship between Greece and China are well known, as is the strong link between our civilizations and history. The signing of the joint action plan in the tourism sector is an important initiative for increasing the number of visitors,” Kikilias stated after signing the deal.

The tourism deal between Greece and China

Junzheng stated that “China and Greece are both ancient civilizations with rich resources in tourism and strong tourism industries.

“This year marks 50 years of the two countries’ diplomatic relationship…the signing of the joint action plan for tourism is especially significant and it strengthens the spirit of collaboration and assistance between our countries, just as President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have expressed,” he continued.

The bill includes provisions for more tourism exhibitions in both countries to inspire more tourism between Greece and China, as well as more guided tours and trips hosted by international tourism corporations.

The two countries also pledged to support cultural tourism that celebrates the ancient history and cultures of both Greece and China, as both are some of the oldest civilizations in the world.

The bill includes provisions for wedding tourism and medical tourism between the two countries.

Additionally, Greek and Chinese language classes will be offered to people working in the tourism sectors of both countries to help boost communication and understanding between tourists and tourism workers from the two countries.

Bonds between Greece and China have been growing stronger in recent years. Greece can act as China’s gateway to Europe, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in October of last year after meeting his counterpart from the People’s Republic of China, Wang Yi, in Athens.

During their meeting, Dendias said, emphasis was placed on the great importance for Greece of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He said that Greece hopes to further strengthen ties with China after the pandemic, especially as 2022 is the 50th anniversary of the two countries establishing diplomatic relations.

The meeting focused on strengthening economic bonds and the prospect for further investments in the framework of the Joint Statement on the Greece-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

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