Greece and Turkey signed a joint declaration on bilateral tourism cooperation on the sidelines of the 4th Supreme Greek-Turkish Cooperation Council held in Izmir last week.
The declaration, signed by Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura and Turkish Tourism Minister Mahir Ünal, aims to increase the exchange of tourist traffic between the two countries, develop and promote thematic forms of tourism, create joint travel packages that will appeal to Greek and Turkish travellers and launch initiatives and programs addressed to third and distant markets.
The new cooperation will also focus on encouraging tourism investment.
According to Minister Kountoura, although the two countries are competing destinations, their cooperation in tourism opens new prospects for growth in the region, which may contribute significantly to peace and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Tourism is the best ambassador for international understanding and solidarity”, she said.
While in Izmir, Minister Kountoura also met with Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu and discussed the prospects for a Greece-Turkey cooperation to promote medical tourism and health/wellness tourism.
A large government delegation of 10 ministers and representatives of 36 Greek businesses and organisations, headed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, participated in the 4th Supreme Greek-Turkish Cooperation Council which focused on trade, transport and tourism.
At a press conference, the Greek PM announced a new flight route that will link Athens and Ankara and said the two countries reached an agreement to build a high-speed railway line that will connect Igoumenitsa in western Greece to Istanbul.