Dozens of U.S. tour operators are in Greece as Athens hosts a major American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).
Greece wants to tap into the lucrative U.S. tourist market and the ASTA Destination EXPO 2018 is expected to make a substantial contribution to drawing American visitors and investment in the coming years.
Keynote speakers from both Greece and the U.S. spoke at the event’s opening ceremony which was held on Sunday at the Herodes Atticus Odeon.
Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura presented Greece’s advantages that make it an ideal holiday destination.
The Greek minister noted that Greece has all the advantages to play a leading role in tourism and underlined the increase in U.S. tourist arrivals.
Specifically, Kountoura said a million Americans visited Greece last year and she estimated that this number will increase this summer.
U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said American tourists were particularly interested in traveling to Greece with a focus on culture. He also said that there are still many destinations in the country, beyond Mykonos and Santorini, that remain unknown to them, but are of great interest.
He stressed that the most fascinating feature of Greece is the combination of its natural landscapes, people, gastronomy and its culture and that it is also one of the safest destinations in the world.
Our goal, he said, is to increase investment and tourism from the United States as relations between Greece and the U.S. are at their best. In addition, he said, the United States will be the Honored Country at the Thessaloniki International Fair 2018.
The ASTA Destination Expo is an international destination event taking place annually in a different location every year. The event is dedicated to training of outbound U.S. travel agents to become destination specialists.