RIYADH – Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias had a series of contacts and meetings with the leaders of the global tourism market, as part of his visit to Riyadh, where the 22nd World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Summit is being held.
On Monday, Kikilias had a working meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Minister, Prince Ahmed Al Khateeb.
The discussion focused on the increase of direct flights from Saudi Arabia to Greece, which will be implemented in the near future.
At the same time, high on the agenda was the interest in tourism investments in Athens, as well as the possibility of training Saudis in tourism schools in Greece.
The two ministers agreed on the provision of scholarships to Greeks for studies at the Academy of the World Tourism Organisation in Saudi Arabia, as well as for the cultural week between the two countries to be held in Riyadh.
Afterwards, the Tourism Minister met at the Embassy of Greece, in the presence of Ambassador Alexis Konstantopoulos, with the president and CEO of the investment group in Saudi Arabia “Alkholi Group”, Hamza B. Alkholi. The subject of the discussion was the openness of the Greek economy and the large investments now being made in the country by international giants, which provide added value and significantly upgrade the Greek tourist product in all its aspects (winter-mountain tourism, alternative, cultural, sports, religious tourism etc.)
On the sidelines of the summit, Kikilias held talks with the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation Zurab Pololikashvili about Greece’s performance this year in terms of arrivals and revenues – which was impressive even when compared with that of other countries that are popular destinations – as well as the future of tourism and the need to shift to a sustainable tourism model with an emphasis on environmental protection, green development and the blue economy.
Finally, Kikilias met with the Egyptian Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa, where the mutual will to further deepen cooperation between the two countries in tourism was confirmed.