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Politics

Kikilias: “We Want to Be Leaders in Tourism”

November 3, 2021

LONDON – With the signature of a new agreement signed in the framework of WTM travel fair in London, British multinational airline and tour operator Easyjet has given a vote of confidence in Greece. Following a meeting between Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis, EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren and EasyJet Holidays CEO Garry Wilson, the airline announced a 500,000 increase in the available seats for Greece in 2022, in comparison with 2019.

The agreement provides that the company will increase the seats to Greece to 1.6 million, up from 1.1 million in 2019, while the company indicated its desire to operate a base at either Heraklion or Corfu airports from 2023.

Kikilias also met with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili at the Greek pavilion. They discussed the ‘wager’ of sustainable tourism ahead of the UNWTO general assembly in Madrid on November 30.

In statements after the meeting, Kikilias underlined that “we want to be leaders in tourism, to lead the effort underway for a sustainable tourism model.”

It was also decided that Greece will organise a conference on tourism retraining and on the reskilling and upskilling of people working in the tourism sector.

While in London, Kikilias met with British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage Nigel Huddleston, the president and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Julia Simpson, the CEO of Visit Britain Sally Balcombe, the president of the independent tour operators’ union Noel Josephides and top British Airways officials.

He also gave a series of interviews to major television networks (CNN, CNBC, Sky News, Euronews) and UK newspapers (Financial Times, Daily Telegraph).

In all his interviews he invited the British to visit Greece, with emphasis on the less well-known destinations and city break holidays, as well as on the country’s stategic decision to become a model for sustainable growth in tourism.

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