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Dimitrios Georgarakis

Tourism Secretary General

Philoxenia 2001 greeting.

I believe this year’s “Philoxenia” will grow to be an important event for Greek tourism, in spite of the particularly unfavorable international circumstances that cause reasonable concern in the country’s tourism sector.

It constitutes an event that will give the Greek tourism manpower the opportunity to surmount any emerging problems and to meet the “challenge” in a positive way.

There is no doubt that the crisis will effect certain sectors of tourism, such as maritime and congress-related tourism. However, under no circumstances, shall the massive tourism sector face problems.

Nevertheless, given the present adverse circumstances, there are many factors that allow us to be optimistic regarding the course the Greek tourism has taken, such as:

  • The great forbearance the country on the whole as a tourist destination has demonstrated in past occasions (Yugoslavian war, September earthquakes, fires).
  • The generally improved image of the country following our entry in the EMU and the confirmation of its European physiognomy.
  • The stable and positive environmental conditions our country provides (especially compared to other neighboring countries) in terms of security, economic growth, standard of living and political normality.
  • The improvement, modernization and enrichment of significant substructures (subway, airports, road network) and of hotel facilities, as well as the general amelioration of the standards of services provided.

Greece is the safest country of the broader area. This gives us the opportunity to enhance our efforts for the development and promotion of new forms of tourism, such as eco-tourism, that will attract major social groups of tourists with special interests. Besides, within the bounds of “Philoxenia”, the International Congress of Eco-tourism takes place in Thessaloniki.

“Philoxenia” will become the “vaulting-horse” for a greater effort to make Greece come in fashion, so that every citizen of the world would feel that he has lost something if he has not been given the opportunity to visit her.

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