During an event held in Thessaloniki, the Minister Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Greek Embassy in Ankara, Charalambos Kounalakis, argued that Greek investments in Turkey promote visitors to Greece, based on evidence. Tourism is only a parameter of the bilateral cooperation, which is reflected as well in the activation of Greek companies of interest (approximately 500) in Turkey, in areas such as banking, food and energy. The approximately 250 businesses are located in the city of Istanbul. Of these, many remain dormant and about 60 are considered the most important.
Presenting data on tourism cooperation between Greece and Turkey, Kounalakis stated that more than 30 major travel agencies in Turkey include Greece among their tourist destinations. Turkish tourists seem to prefer Greek destinations with historical and cultural background, which also offer them the possibility of shopping and entertainment. They also travel for religious reasons, he stressed.
Meanwhile, the pilot program which was first implemented in 2012 for five entry points in Greece, began being applied since the beginning of May and in 2013 for six points (Mytilene, Chios, Rhodes, Samos, Kos and Castelorizo) and is to end at the end of October 2013, he said.
Moreover, recently, the Joint Tourism Committee agreed to further strengthen the Greek-Turkish tourism cooperation and its goal was to jointly promote tourism products in the markets of China, Japan, India and the U.S, as Kounalakis noted.