Greece anticipates growth in number of Russian tourists, says president

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ATHENS, June 8./TASS/. Greece expects that the flow of tourists from Russia will grow, while the Greek authorities will do their best for this, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said in an interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman.

Tourism is among the important tracks for the development of bilateral relations, she stressed. “It is beneficial and important not only for the development of the economy but also for cultural ties and contacts between our peoples. As the basis for the development of tourist flows, she sees the task of “upscaling tourism products, developing specifically religious tourism, cruise tourism and extending the tourist season”.

She also mentioned a successful introduction of digital vaccination certificates, which also applies to arriving Russian nationals. “I believe that the certificates will make it easier to increase tourist flows for our two countries. A forum on tourism was held in Thessaloniki in June of 2018, which announced the Greek-Russian Year of Tourism. I hope that an increase in tourist flows, that was the common aim for the two countries and was in place before the pandemic had spoiled the situation, will continue in the future, and we will do our best to achieve that,” the president pledged.

Greece is a beautiful country, including her native land of Northern Greece, as well as the islands boasting their exceptional charm, she stressed. “Apart from its beautiful nature, our country is full of cultural monuments that influenced the progress of global culture,” the president stressed. Greece is looking forward to seeing Russian tourists, she added.

Greece opened its tourism market for foreign tourists on May 14, and on that date, it also allowed travel among its own nationals between the regions, including the islands. Meanwhile, restrictions are still in place in the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus. In particular, wearing masks indoors and in the street is compulsory. A curfew is in place between 00:30 and 05:00 local time. All people arriving in Greece must abide by the restrictive measures in effect in the country.

Russian nationals, as well as citizens of other countries allowed to visit Greece, upon their arrival must produce either a vaccination certificate issued at least 14 days before the trip, or a negative coronavirus test made 72 hours ahead of their arrival, or a medical note certifying that they had been ill with coronavirus and developed antibodies.

At present, two regular flights a week are operated between Moscow and Athens from each side. There are no charter flights to Greek resorts from Russia for now. From June 10, there will be eight flights a week from Russia to Greece.