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Greece and Saudi Arabia Agree to Deepen Ties Through Tourism

Strengthening ties through tourism and investments as well as ways to address the Covid-19 crisis topped the agenda of talks between Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and his Saudi Arabia counterpart Ahmed Aqeel Al-Khateeb.

The two ministers agreed to the establishment of a joint tourism committee which will plan data & information sharing actions, educational events and workshops for the exchange of knowhow and best practices, and the promotion of products on international markets. The two sides said they would also be appointing contact persons so as to pave the way for investment activity.

“I urge our ministries to coordinate inclusive social development policies through tourism. The goal is transforming the Greek economy’s productive sectors, increasing income and employment on the regional level and achieving sustainable tourism development,” said Theoharis.

Another key issue discussed was Greece’s proposal for the implementation of a uniform rapid testing protocol for Covid-19 at all European airports in order to enable travel and ensure the safety of travelers, tourism professionals and destination populations. Theoharis had tabled the proposal to tourism leaders during the 6th Global Tourism Crisis Committee held by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) via teleconference last month.

Photo Source: @EODY

Speaking with Al-Khateeb over the phone, Theoharis briefed his counterpart on the success of the currently implemented “EVA” safe entry system, which improved the effectiveness of Covid-19 controls significantly, and offered to share Greece’s knowhow with Saudi Arabia.

On his part, Al-Khateeb thanked Theoharis for his proposals several points of which had been included in G20 Summit conclusions, adding that “Saudi nationals will continue to visit Greece next year to an even greater degree”.

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