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Optimistic prospects for tourism this year

09/03/2007 14:58
Greece's Tourism Development Minister Fani Palli-Petralia on Thursday announced from the Berlin International Tourism Exhibition (ITB) the beginning of a "new era" and a "new course" for Greek tourism with the aim of ranking Greece among one of the five top positions in the global tourism classification at the end of the current decade.

Speaking at a press conference to an audience of journalists and tourism sector officials from various countries, Petralia termed 2006 a "record year" in the history of Greek tourism, referring to unofficial but reliable, as she said, data according to which arrivals exceeded 15 million, while the inflow of tourist exchange amounted to 11.4 billion euros, confirming that the Greek tourism industry constitutes one of the most powerful "development machines" of the Greek economy.

The prospects for 2007 are also optimistic, she said, given that data concerning the first two months of the year show that the record achieved in 2006 can be broken.

Petralia insisted once again on the need to modernise the Greek tourism product through differentiation and its qualitative upgrading.

"We want a Greece of four seasons and of many forms of tourism," she said in referring to the legal framework on facilitating investments in the tourism sector, as well as Greece's targeted advertising promotion as a tourist destination.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion of the International Women's Day, Petralia paid tribute to German communist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg by placing three red roses on a monument erected near the point where the body of the assassinated revolutionary was found.

Rosa Luxemburg, and her comrade Karl Liebknecht, were captured in Berlin by the Freikorps, a fascist militia on January 15, 1919 and murdered on the same day, after a failed uprising.

Palli-Petralia inaugurated on Wednesday the Greek pavilion at Berlin's international tourism exhibition ITB.

In statements to the state-run Greek broadcaster, the Greek minister said that Rosa Luxemburg was a "protagonist in the struggle for women's equality" and a "symbol".