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Greece and Spain Discuss Strengthening Ties in Tourism

Greece’s Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development Olympia Anastasopoulou and Spanish Deputy Tourism Minister Fernando Valdes Verelst

Ways of strengthening tourism relations between Greece and Spain were discussed during a recent meeting in Madrid between Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development Olympia Anastasopoulou and Spanish Deputy Tourism Minister Fernando Valdes Verelst.

Anastasopoulou, who was in Spain earlier this month on an official visit, said both sides explored the potential of signing a memorandum of cooperation.

“The memorandum would focus mainly on ways to enhance our cooperation in thematic tourism forms and exchange best practices in the field of tourism,” Anastasopoulou told GTP Headlines.

“While Spanish travelers opt for Greece’s culture and ‘sea & sun’ product, the ministry is intending to promote additional tourism forms including conferences, sports, agrotourism, mountain and wine tourism, in order to offer a holistic tourism experience,” she added.

Promoting alternative Greek destinations

While in Spain, Anastasopoulou spoke on Radio Marca and analyzed Greece’s tourism strategy for the coming years. As she said, apart from its thematic tourism products, Greece also aims to promote alternative destinations to the Spanish market beyond the renowned Greek destinations such as Athens and the islands.

In addition, Anastasopoulou, met with Spanish-Greek Chamber of Commerce Chairman Andreas Pappas and discussed on ways to further enhance tourism flows between the two countries through the chamber’s existing business partnerships in trade sectors such as fish farming, clothing, jewelry and herbal cosmetics.

Olympia Anastasopoulou with UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili

The Secretary General also participated in the extraordinary General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Held in Madrid on April 27, the assembly debated and decided the suspension of Russia’s membership from the organization.

Following the general assembly, the Secretary General discussed with the Spanish Deputy Tourism Minister the potential of the two countries coordinating actions in order to propose the addition in the organization of new members such as Canada and Australia and the potential of the US re-joining the UN agency.

Lastly, Anastosopoulou visited the “Salon de Gourmet” exhibition where Greece and Spain promoted common initiatives as part of “EU Rice”, a joint program aiming to highlight the sustainable aspect of rice production in the two countries.

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About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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