One-on-one interview with Greece's tourism minister

i24NEWS

2 min read
Greek Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias
i24NEWSGreek Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias

'We say in Greece we don't bring Israelis as travelers or tourists, but we open our homes for them'

Israel last week hosted the 28th International Mediterranean Tourism Market at Expo Tel Aviv, featuring tourism bodies from across the world.

Over 57 nations got to show off what they have for travelers around the world.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias talked to "Israel Business Beat" host Natasha Kirtchuk about why the Mediterranean country is a great destination for tourism.

Greece gets 25 percent of its GDP directly from tourism, the minister explained.

Kikilias pointed in particular at the United States for its strong support for Greek tourism, with nine flights weekly departing to Greece from the US and more than 3,000 travelers per week.

In addition to various European countries with lots of tourists visiting Greece, Kikilias also mentioned Israel.

"Israel is unique. Why is Israel unique? We are so alike — Israelis and Greeks. Our temperament, our fighting spirit," he said, adding that the flight is only one hour and 30 minutes from Tel Aviv to Athens.

"Israelis come to Greece and they invest, but mainly travelers come to Greece. They are seekers. They discover alternative destinations — mountains. They come during the weekend and especially they come during the summer," Kikilias said.

"They are most welcome. We say in Greece we don't bring Israelis as travelers or tourists, but we open our homes for them."

Watch the full interview:

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