Greece and the United States expand their ties in tourism ahead of the season after Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias signed a Memorandum of Understanding with US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, at the Acropolis Museum in Athens on April 4, 2022.
The previous Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed three decades ago. This new five years agreement will enhance the bilateral cooperation in tourism aimed at boosting trade in travel services between the two countries.
Under this new MoU, Greece and the United States will exchange best practices in several topics :
- Travel and tourism
- Tourism promotion
- Innovation and digitization of provided tourism services
- Information on investment opportunities
- Tourism statistics
- Data research
- Tourism policy and developments in the global tourism market, including new tourism products and services
- Development of specific forms of tourism
- Upgraded tourism education and training
Through this deal, Greece hopes to boost bilateral trade in travel services. The Greek Minister underlined the already strong bond between the two countries as demonstrated by the number of direct flights from the United States, nine daily flights.
This cooperation not only concerns visitors but also investors. American investors have interest in doing business in Greece, and Vassilis Kikilias wants to « further strengthen the momentum between the two countries ».
On his side, Geoffrey Pyatt said that this deal « solidifies the outstanding relationship that we have with Greece as a tourism partner ». He also added that this cooperation « go beyond just our airline carriers » as US cruise companies and US hotel groups show a growing interest in the greek market.
Today’s agreement with a duration of five years is another example of the seamless cooperation between our two countries in the field of tourism. It is at the same time, an essential step to make this cooperation even more targeted and efficient in specific areas, especially at this given time. […] We are moving forward with sound steps towards the development of a sustainable tourism model with solid collaborations and care to address daily issues with the ultimate goal of creating added value for the Greek economy and for every household.
Vassilis Kikilias, Greek Tourism Minister
We saw Greece’s tourism economy rebound in unexpected ways last summer. Americans, I am glad to say, flocked to Greece, thanks in part to the nine direct flights from Athens that American carriers added to their schedules. […] This year, there will be a total of 14 direct flights from the United States to Athens. Many of these will continue as late as October, ensuring that visitors have plenty of opportunity to take a well-deserved vacation and to enjoy the unique pleasures of this country.
Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Greece