“Once again tourism is giving hope to Athens,” Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni said during her speech at the 13th Tourism & Development Conference of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) on 20 October.
According to the tourism minister, Athens can once again stand on its own feet and look towards the future with optimism, following “a dark period of depreciation, insecurity and uncertainty.”
However, Mrs. Kefalogianni pointed out the need “to eliminate pathogens that hold the city captive,” such as the issue of opening shops in Athens center on Sundays.
“We need to work together for a city with orderliness and safety,” she said and invited all stakeholders to join forces with the Tourism Ministry in order to get the desired results very soon.
Report: Tourism in Athens on the up
The large increase of international arrivals at Athens International Airport began in June 2013 and will continue with a strong growth pace this year, analysts have said in a recent report released by Alpha Bank.
International arrivals at Athens Airport were up by 28.3 percent during the first nine months of 2014.
According to the report, the improvement of safety conditions in the city and the promotion of other forms of tourism – such as conference tourism – were among the main the factors that contributed significantly to the rise in the number of visitors to the Greek capital.
The report highlighted that the majority of tourists in Athens stay in the city and visit archaeological sites and other tourist destinations that are in close distance.