Greece is eagerly awaiting tourists and diaspora Greeks from Australia this year after the Australian government lifted Covid-19 measures allowing international travel for vaccinated holidaymakers, said Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.
In an interview to Melbourne-based Greek community newspaper Neos Kosmos, Kikilias said actions would be taken in the immediate future to further strengthen ties between the two countries not only in tourism but in other areas of common interest as well.
Kikilias said that it is a ministry priority to get the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Melbourne branch up and running soon.
The minister went on to highlight the lost ground the Greek tourism sector managed to cover in 2021, “exceeding all expectations”.
“Forecast revenues at the beginning of last year doubled as we had visitors even in November. We achieved this because Greece had timely formulated specific protocols that were strictly followed by tourism professionals. Our work paid off,” he said.
Kikilias also referred to a recent meeting with Australian Ambassador to Greece Arthur Spyrou, who expressed confidence that 2022 would be an “extremely successful tourist year” based on booking figures.
“Greece is a safe country,” said Kikilias, welcoming the Australian government’s decision to lift restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers from Australia entering Greece, adding that this will have a “particularly positive effect on attracting more Australian visitors”.
“For us, you, the Greeks of Australia are the ‘ambassadors of tourism’ who can share the message that Greece is a country of irresistible beauty.”
Looking ahead, Kikilias said the ministry was implementing a three-pronged strategy focusing on “tourist product upgrade – high quality services – extension of the tourism season” to ensure growth and improved performance.