An agreement to strengthen bilateral relations in the field of tourism between Greece and Israel was signed on Monday in Jerusalem between Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and his Israeli counterpart Orit Farkash-Hacohen.
“This agreement aims to take advantage of important alliances with countries from the wider Mediterranean region,” Minister Theoharis said, adding that apart from the ties of friendship with Israel, Greece shares the same belief that tourism is a central lever of development in a modern, sustainable and profitable direction.
Underlining the importance of Israel’s tourist market, the minister reminded that in 2019 Greece welcomed some 715,000 Israeli visitors.
“This number places Israel as the ninth country from where Greece welcomes arrivals,” he said.
Greece-Israel tourism deal
The new tourism agreement between Greece and Israel will initially be in force for a period of five years and foresees the following:
– Institutional cooperation.
– Cooperation between the national tourism authorities of the two countries and the exchange of insight on promotion and advertising.
– It encourages the direct cooperation between Greek and Israeli travel agencies and other tourism businesses, as well as the exchange of information on tourism statistics, tourism policy and legislation, research and developments in the global tourism market.
– It sees both countries sharing know-how for special forms of tourism and exchanging information on tourism projects, investment opportunities and incentive programs in Greece and Israel.
– Joint participations of the national tourism authorities of Greece and Israel in exhibitions, seminars and other tourism promotion events.
– The promotion of entrepreneurship in the tourism sector and the exchange of information and practical experience in the field of tourism innovation and digitalization for the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises.
– Cooperation and exchange of information and practical experience in the field of tourism education/vocational training.
– Cooperation of Greece and Israel in the context of the activities of the World Tourism Organization, as well as other international tourism organizations.
On her part, Israeli Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen said that the signing of the agreement is “a beacon of hope, at a time when the skies are closed and holidays are still far away”.
The minister underlined that both countries are working to ensure that the skies reopen as soon as possible.
“Tourism has always been a two-way street. Any agreement must be reciprocal, allowing the citizens of both countries to have equal positive experiences that travel and holidays can offer,” she said.
Earlier on Monday, the two countries reached an agreement on a ‘green passport’ that will allow Israeli citizens vaccinated against the coronavirus (Covid-19) to visit Greece without restrictions such as quarantine.