Τhe uniqueness and religious tradition of Patmos are factors that can be further highlighted to boost arrivals to the island, according to Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni.
Aiming to further improve the tourism performance of Patmos, a meeting was held on the island on 22 August between the tourism minster, Greek Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and representatives of the island’s local authorities.
During the meeting, Mrs. Kefalogianni placed special emphasis on attracting high-end tourists and extending the season. She informed that the ministry has drawn up a plan for this purpose.
Patmos to join visa-free pilot program
Perhaps one of the most important plans of the ministry is the inclusion of Patmos as a destination available to visit through the visa facilitation program*. The program allows non-European Union citizens from Turkish ports to visit selected Greek islands in the eastern Aegean without a visa from a Greek consulate.
On marine tourism, the tourism minister referred to the development of marinas in cooperation with the Port Authority in order to enhance yachting and cruise tourism.
In addition, the Greek tourism minister said the ministry would launch fam (familiarization) trips to Patmos for journalists and travel agents and that the Monastery of St. John the Theologian on Patmos and UNESCO will jointly participate in an exhibition in Paris.
Mrs. Kefalogianni informed the local authorities of Patmos that they have the support of the state to boost tourism but that the island’s stakeholders and local community must also get involved.
She also informed that according to the new tourism law, hoteliers will require only four documents to obtain the special operational seal in 50 days.
* The visa facilitation pilot program permits Turkish tourists or other non-EU citizens visiting Turkey that wish to visit the islands of Rodos, Kos, Samos, Chios, Lesvos and Kastelorizo – for less than 15 days – to issue visas either through Turkish travel agents or straight from the ports of the islands (with the proper documentation).