MELBURNE – “It was a dream come true,” said the president of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Vassilis Papastergiadis, on Friday, welcoming an initiative by Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias to open a Greek National Tourism Office (GNTO) in Australia.
As the minister announced, the bill that the tourism ministry will submit to Parliament in the coming days also provides for the establishment of a tourist office in Melbourne.
“We are very happy with the Greek government’s decision to proceed with the opening of the office, as it is something we have been asking for for eight years. Finally, (Tourism Minister) Kikilias will make it happen,” Papastergiadis said to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, while also referring to the reply given by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a relevant letter. He added that “an online meeting with the minister has been scheduled over the next few days.”
“On our part, as we have said in the past, we have the infrastructure, as we have office space that we grant to the national tourism organisation, in a 15-storey building in the centre of Melbourne where Greek services, schools, etc. are housed. It is important, apart from the approximately 600,000 Greek-Australians who love Greece and travel, to promote our country to the rest of Australia. Let’s not forget that [Australians] are people of considerable financial means and they travel a lot, spending correspondingly large amounts of money, and Greece is a country that has all those advantages needed to attract demanding tourists. It is a country with culture, incredible beauty and offers everything,” Papastergiadis underlined.