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Greece has High Hopes for More Chinese Visitors

A Chinese tourist taking a “selfie” at the Archaeological Site of Akrotiri of Thera.

Tourism arrivals to Greece from China have significantly increased as a result of the Tourism Ministry’s strategy implemented in the last two years, according to Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development Georgios Tziallas.

Speaking during the 4th Greek-Chinese Entrepreneurship Conference held in Athens on May 11-12, under the theme of the “Belt and Road” initiative*, Tziallas said a further increase in arrivals to Greece from China is expected over the next few years as a result of the ministry’s promotional activities in the Chinese market and plans to develop new partnerships and attract more investment. He also added that the ministry was looking to create the conditions in order to support the launch of direct flights between the two countries.

Tziallas also referred to the increasing interest of Chinese business groups regarding large-scale investments in Greece, which he said was the result of a steady Greek economy and the opportunities that arise in the tourism market.

The conference, which focused on the fields of tourism, shipping, energy and sustainable development, was organized by the Athens University of Economics and Business and the Greek-Chinese Economic Council, with the support of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the Hellenic Republic.

The 4th Greek-Chinese Conference on Entrepreneurship in Athens took place prior to the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation held in Beijing on May 14-15, which was attended by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Last year, Greece welcomed 150,000 Chinese arrivals.

* Launched in 2013 by China’s president, Xi Jinping, as “one belt, one road”, the “Belt and Road” initiative involves China underwriting billions of dollars of infrastructure investment in countries along the old Silk Road linking it with Europe. According to the Economist, China is spending roughly $150 billion a year in the 68 countries that have signed up to the scheme.

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