Greece Ministry of Tourism wants to establish direct flight connection to India, says Harry Theoharis

Greece is actively working towards re-establishing its connection with the travel trade fraternity in India and further enticing Indians to visit the destination. The focus is on touching base with the disruptive and ever-growing Indian travel trade associations and together exploring future opportunities. GNTO wants to capitalize on the opportunity to ensure that the health and safety of its visitors is undoubtedly the priority of the tourism board.

Harry Theoharis, Minister of Tourism, commented, “India is one of the emerging markets of high quality and importance on an international level and it is one of the strategic goals of Greek Tourism to enter this market dynamically in the next 3 years. Already, before the pandemic started, we were in close cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism of India, the first goal being to establish a direct air flight connection. In fact, last February I was at the OTM (Outbound Travel Market) and met with my Indian counterpart Prahlad Singh Patel. In these bilateral meetings, we agreed that there is great interest from both countries to sign an MoU on issues of investment and tourism, the priority still being that we ensure a direct air flight connection. I want to communicate to the trade and consumers that, The Ministry of Tourism is always at your disposal to help with such efforts and I am sure that soon there will be international flights without restrictions and that I will be back in India and will welcome friends from India to Greece.”

Dimitrios Fragakis, Secretary-General, remarked, “Health first – has been our imperative since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. And I am proud to say that we have been successful. The Greek government designed detailed health protocols, in consultation with the leading experts. The protection measures have been implemented professionally, consistently and credibly by the businesses and the Greek state, since the reopening of borders in July of 2020. My clear message as the Secretary-General of the Greek National Tourism Organisation is that this summer Greece managed to keep its visitors safe, by implementing all health protocols in tourism. The South Asian market, and in particular the Indian market, is a new dynamic and exciting field for the Greek Ministry of Tourism and the Greek National Tourist Organisation. We are looking forward to enhancing our collaboration with the Indian market.”

Taking these endeavours forward, fedHATTA, the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Travel & Tourist Agencies, is the nationwide representative of the entire travel agency sector in the relevant national, European and international organizations. fedHATTA, through its member associations, represents approximately 2.500 travel agencies, employing approximately 22.000 people, across Greece. The organization pursues the development and promotion of Greek tourism and contributes to the effort of the country for the expansion and enhancement of tourism services. fedHATTA also acts as the official consultant to and interlocutor with the State in all matters concerning the tourism industry and has a determining role in the elaboration of the developmental policy for tourism and the formulation of the national strategy regarding the promotion of the tourism product, in cooperation with all competent Greek, European and international tourism entities and organizations.

Indians have been consistently on the list of global target markets owing to its evolving population of experimental millennials who are now embracing travel as a part of their lifestyle. The team of GNTO is certain that the two-day long participation in a virtual Indian travel industry event will manifest into Indian arrivals in Greece soon after lockdown relaxations.

Greece continues to be one of the most coveted international destinations preferred by Indians owing to its unparallel cityscapes and holiday experiences. GNTO is working towards finding more lucrative opportunities to strengthen and expand their network in India and directly involve with travel communities to boost travel activities and position Greece on top of every Indian traveller’s bucket lists.