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Government Emphasizes Tourism Sector as Priority

Greece’s tourism development minister, Fanny Pally-Petalia, recently reconfirmed her government’s intentions to keep the country’s tourism sector a priority. She said that our country has been fortunate to have been blessed with natural beauty, with exceptionally beautiful islands and mountainous regions, with a cultural richness, and with thousands of years of history.

Although we have known the above for years now, she said, it is only recently that we have begun to realize it and to exploit the power of these attributes and to work methodically and systematically with a long-term tourism strategy that ensures we have a competitive tourism product.

Our government is the first, she said, to create a development plan for tourism as a priority sector of the economy. “From the first day of our government, we have worked toward the development of the tourism sector as the main power in a strong economy that competes with the developed countries of the European Union and allows for a balanced development where all can share in the benefits of progress.”

According to the minister, the results of the above efforts are open for all to see. She said that last year Greece saw arrivals increase by at least 10% over the year before, and tourism foreign exchange receipts surpassed 12 billion euros.

She believes 2006 could be classed as a record year for Greek tourism and that this gives us great strength and optimism for the future. For 2007, she foresees an even better year for the Greek tourism sector.

We are planning, programming and initiating our next steps within our general tourism policy, she said. These steps include actions that should have taken place in the past so as to confront today’s needs, and actions that would confront tomorrow’s needs so as to ensure the continuation of our development course.

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