Parliament Approves MoU Between Greece and Egypt for Tourism Cooperation
The 300-member Greek parliament by a large majority on Thursday approved the draft law on “Ratification of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Greece and Egypt for cooperation in the field of tourism”. The draft law had been tabled by the Tourism Ministry.
The MoU, which was signed on February 23, 2016, provides a framework for the bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector between Greece and Egypt to increase tourist traffic between the two countries.
The main objectives of the MoU are to encourage two-way tourism, to promote joint travel packages to third countries, to exchange information and data related to tourism, to exchange experiences in the areas of promotion and education and to participate in tourism exhibitions in each others country.
According to the MoU, the countries will also cooperate to develop special forms of tourism, launch mutual tourism promotional activities and ease investment measures for Greek and Egyptian businessmen to carry out joint tourism projects.
The MoU also sees the establishment of a tourism committee for the implementation of the joint actions.
During her speech in parliament, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura underlined that Egypt is among the new markets of priority for Greece, in accordance to the ministry’s national tourism policy launched in 2015.
She noted that Greece could attract Egyptian travellers all year around and that it is estimated that some five million Egyptians of high income travel abroad each year.
Moreover, she stressed that the ministry aims to promote stability and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Make it easier for citizens of Egypt to tour Greece. I had several families interested in touring Greece and they were denied visas after applying and paying for them. This wasn’t fair. They were very disappointed. I think there is an untapped tour source here if they could visit Greece. These people had jobs and weren’t a “flight risk” as stated on the rejected Visa papers. One couple I was going to do business with, was so distraught after being rejected and spending the money to apply and be rejected they didn’t want to try to apply again.
Opening up the chance for middle eastern people to tour Greece is a great way to experience cultures and promote tolerance and respect. The younger generation is curious and don’t want to read and look at photos in books they want to actually experience the culture. This curiosity should be encouraged. Doing this is a win win situation for all and hopefully will build a better understanding between cultures which in turn can have a positive impact for all involved. I would love to escort these people through Greece someday so they can experience the wonders that await them.