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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-04-13

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Tourism minister satisfied with D.C. visit
  • [02] Communist leader to visit N. Korea, China

  • [01] Tourism minister satisfied with D.C. visit

    Greece's tourism development minister Fani Palli-Petralia said she was satisfied with the outcome of her visit to Washington D.C., during which she addressed the Global Travel and Tourism Summit, organised by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), and met with US government officials and representatives of the tourism market.

    Former tourism minister and current health minister Dimitris Avramopoulos also described Greece's presence at the Summit as "a total success", speaking to reporters after a meeting with US undersecretary of state for political affairs Nicholas Burns -- who is a former US ambassador to Greece.

    Addressing reporters after the completion of two-day summit, Petralia said she had ascertained that Greece has gained ground in the preferences of the US travel agents and tourism industry, but also of the American tourists.

    "It is in our hands now to further develop these close ties that we have established. Naturally, there is much we must do in our country...we must move forward on the issue of cruises, we must proceed with flexibility on the issue of investments and, of course, American visitors to Greece are particularly interested because they have a high standard of living and also come under the category of big spenders when they travel," she said, adding that "all this is good for our tourism industry and Greece, following the (Athens 2004) Olympic Games, has repositioned itself on the global tourism map".

    Petralia said that Greece's image in the US today was "very positive", stressing that the Greek government's taret was a qualitiatve upgrading and the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product.

    "My conclusion is that, for the US market, Greece is an enchanting country which -- as the officials I spoke with told me -- has the best product, which guarantees stability and security in the region, and a country that can offer alot to every visitor. And when we invite the visitor to 'live their myth in Greece', we mean that each visitor can feel an live his/her own personal myth in Greece," the minister said.

    Petralia praised Greek ambassador to the US Alexandros Mallias' contribution to the success of her US visit, while she also called the director of the embassy's press office Achilleas Paparsenos a "firm asset".

    She also addressed students at Georgetown University, whome she briefed on Greece's new tourism development strategy, the investment opportunities in the tourism sector in Greece, and on the country's comparative advantages and its legacy from the successful and safe organisation of the 2004 Olympics.


    Health minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, Petralia's predecessor at the tourism development ministry, told reporters after his meeting Wednesday in Washington with US undersecretary of state for political affairs and former US ambassador to Greece, Nicholas Burns, that World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) Summit had been a major success, noting that Petralias had been one of the keynote speakers, while he also attended the summit in his new capacity as Chairman of the WTTC's new Committee on dealing with problems arising from the avian influenza (bird flu) outbreak.

    Avramopoulos said both he and Petralia "were present thrughout all the proceedings, emitting a message on how our country perceives its general policy in the field of tourism -- which tourism minister Petralia had the opportunity to outline in her address...We emitted a message of certainty, optimism and, above all, security with respect to Greece, which is especially important for this year's but also the next tourist season".

    Turning to his meeting with Burns, with which Avramopoulos wound up his visit to the US capital, the health minister said there had been no specific agenda, but was rather a "friendly meeting with an acquaintance and good friend from the past, from the time that he was serving as the US ambassador in Athens and I was mayor of Athens, during which we had a close, cordial but also substantive cooperation".

    Avramopoulos said he and Burns have remained in contact since then, and "today, on the opportunity of my visit to Washington, we spent some time together, discussed the past, and the entire discussion ha a purely friendly content and did not extend into political matters".

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] Communist leader to visit N. Korea, China

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga will be departing for successive visits to North Korea and the People's Republic of China on Friday, at the head of a delegation of KKE central committee members. The KKE delegation will be in N. Korea from Saturday until April 19, and in China from April 19 until April 25, while the visits are being carried out in response to official invitations sent by the Labour Party of N. Korea and the Communist Party of China.

    During the visits, the KKE delegation is scheduled to meet with local party and government officials, research institutes and big organisations. It will also visit industrial and agricultural enterprises, as well as businesses in China's special economic development zones.

    A KKE announcement said that the aims of the visits to the two countries were to become acquainted with the latest developments there and exchange views on theoretical, economic and other problems of concern to the international communist and labour movements.

    The KKE delegation is due to return to Greece on April 26.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

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