The Minister of Tourism, Elena Kountoura, represented Greece and spoke at the World Travel & Tourism Forum, held in Lisbon, with regards to the future of tourism in Europe.
The Minister presented the high tourist performance noted in Greece these last four years with the focus on the national tourist policy and the priority given to sustainable and balanced tourism development. She maintained that tourism, as the strong incentive for financial growth and social prosperity, can and should, with the cooperation and coordination of the governments, be of the highest priority.
The Minister spoke on the four basic issues concerning Europe, which were on the agenda at the forum, concerning sustainable development of tourism, especially inner city tourism, the relationship between tourism and employment, the promotion of tourist investments and the support of innovation in this field. Moreover, issues having to do with the cooperation between the public and private sectors were discussed, the development of infrastructures, safety measures, crises management and global trends.
The purpose of the forum was to offer support to the Council in regards to the development of tourism in Europe and to tighten the bond between the leaders of the field.
The Greek Minister met with the Managing Director of the WTTC, the Secretary of Tourism in Portugal and many others. She discussed issues concerning the development of Greek tourism, new prospects in Greek Cruises and the possibility of new routes, in an effort to promote marine tourism.
The Minister also had meetings with representatives of the tourist industry, representatives of international hotel chains and investors who expressed their interest in investing in Greece.
Ms. Kountoura was then interviewed by the Portuguese newspaper Diarode Noticias and the popular radio program of the acclaimed journalist of CBS News, Mr. Peter Greenberg – highlighting the attractiveness of Greece as a top tourist destination all year round.
The Greek Ambassador in Portugal, Ms. Ekaterini Simopoulou also took part in the forum.