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‘Greece-Russia Year of Tourism’ Ends with Big Music, Dance Event in Athens

Photo source: Greek Tourism Ministry

Photo source: Greek Tourism Ministry

“During the summer season, Greece remained one of the most popular destinations abroad for the Russians.” – Andrey Maslov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Greece

The Greece-Russia Year of Tourism 2017-2018, an initiative of the tourism ministries of Greece and Russia, on Friday wrapped up with a big music and dance event held at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron).

Underlining that tourism unites people and nations, creates bridges of cooperation and opens new paths for growth, progress and prosperity, Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura opened the event, which saw the attendance of ministers from the two countries, government officials from the Russian Federation, representatives of the diplomatic corps, regional governors, tourism professionals the media.

Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura and Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Greece Andrey Maslov.

Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura and Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Greece Andrey Maslov. Photo source: Greek Tourism Ministry

“The end of the Greece-Russia Year of Tourism, at the same time, is the beginning of a new era in the tourism cooperation between our countries, between the Greek and Russian regions, with specific agreements to be followed in the development of thematic tourism products and the promotion of new destinations, very positive prospects and mutual benefits in the coming years,” Minister Kountoura said.

From the Russian side, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Greece Andrey Maslov, delivered the greeting of the Russia’s culture minister, Vladimir Medinskiy, and spoke warmly about the success of the Year of Tourism.

“The initiative highlighted in the best way the effectiveness of  Russian-Greek relations,” the ambassador said, underlining that through joint coordination, the Greece-Russia Year of Tourism succeeded in bringing together regions, MPs, and businessmen from both countries to discuss tourism cooperation issues.

“These mutual beneficial contacts further enhanced exchanges and bilateral tourism. During the summer season, Greece remained one of the most popular destinations abroad for the Russians,” Ambassador Maslov said, adding that the flow of Russian tourists to Greece this year is expected to be at the same level as last year.

According to reports, Greece expects to count over 900,000 Russian tourists for 2018.

Photo © Greek Travel Pages (GTP)

Photo © Greek Travel Pages (GTP)

Launched in 2017, the Greece-Russia Year of Tourism saw various cultural and gastronomy events and B2B meetings for professionals take place in both countries. The Tourism Year included Greece’s participation in a number of exhibitions in Russia while many familiarization trips for Russian journalists and travel professionals took place.

According to the tourism ministry, the Greece-Russia Year of Tourism initiative brought great results and gave a boost to bilateral tourism relations.

Photo © Greek Travel Pages (GTP)

Photo © Greek Travel Pages (GTP)

The three-hour event included a music and dance program, under the direction of Tasos Birsim and hosted by Greek actress Katerina Didaskalou.

Photo source: Greek Tourism Ministry

Photo source: Greek Tourism Ministry

The event included traditional Greek dance performances by the Choropaignio association and a music program by Greek composer and soloist Christos Nikolopoulos, under the direction of Nikos Stratigou, which included a special tribute to the Greek rebetiko (often referred to as ‘The Greek Blues’). Greece’s renowned performers Melina Aslanidou and Costas Makedonas interpreted international hits by the great Greek composers Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hadjidakis, Yannis Markopoulos and Stavros Xarchakos.

Photo © Greek Travel Pages (GTP)

Photo © Greek Travel Pages (GTP)

Russia’s traditional music and dance was offered to the audience by the State Kuban Cossack Chorus, a leading Folkloric ensemble in Russia.

The highlight of the event was when both Greek and Russian dancers took the stage to give the audience a memorable performance.

Photo source: Greek Tourism Ministry

Photo source: Greek Tourism Ministry

The event was organized by the Greek Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the Culture Ministry of the Russian Federation, with the support of the Greek Culture Ministry and the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO).

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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