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Greek Tourism Minister Holds Key Talks at WTM London 2019

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis during the past two days held a series of meetings with leading airlines and travel groups interested in boosting their presence in Greece, on the sidelines of the World Travel Market (WTM) 2019 in London.

According to the ministry, through these contacts the minister is aiming to increase air arrivals in Greece, extend the tourism season and highlight Greek destinations that are unknown to foreign travelers.

The minister’s busy agenda included a meeting with TUI Group’s CEO Markets & Airlines, David Burling; with senior executives of “We Love Holidays”, the fourth largest UK tour operator; with easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren; and with easyJet Holidays’ CEO, Garry Wilson, and Holidays Strategy and Sourcing Director, Paul Bixby.

Minister Theoharis also held talks with executives of Jet2.com, a travel group that has already announced its intention to strengthen its presence in Greece for the next summer season.

Late in October, Jet2.com announced the launch of two more new Greek destinations in its Summer 2020 program: Lesvos and Peloponnese (Kalamata). As a result, Jet2.com will operate its biggest ever program to Greece in Summer 2020, with 12 destinations on sale – Lesvos, Peloponnese, Skiathos, Preveza, Corfu, Crete (Heraklion), Crete (Chania), Kefalonia, Kos, Rhodes, Halkidiki and Zakynthos.

The Greek minister also met with the heads of Seafare Cruising and Sailing Holidays and Variety Cruises. The talks focused on the prospects of sailing and yachting in Greece.

Moreover, the minister visited the Kingdom of Bahrain’s pavilion and held talks with officials regarding Gulf Air’s launch of the new Bahrain – Mykonos route as of summer 2020.

The minister applauded the new route, which will bring more Arab visitors to Greece, and underlined the importance of direct air connectivity for the further growth of Greek tourism.

During the WTM London expo, Minister Theoharis also attended the UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit 2019 and discussed with officials and tourism ministers of other countries on strategies and policies for promoting sustainable tourism development.

He also gave interviews to major media outlets including CNN (Quest Means Business show with Richard Quest), Euronews and CNBC.

“We are ‘building’ a different Greece for tourism. We are investing in city breaks, cultur and nature holidays. We are investing in tourism for every visitor, every day of the year, for every part of Greece,” he stated to CNBC’s Sean Harte Barry.

On the first day of the WTM London 2019 expo, Minister Theoharis gave a press conference and revealed Greece’s tourism goals for the years to come.

The WTM London 2019 expo will run until Wednesday.

The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) is an official media partner of the expo.

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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