ECONOMY

Tourism investments on table

The new tourism accommodation product will bring a higher quality of investment to Greece and add greater value to the plots sold with the potential of such development, Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos said on Monday.

Tourism accommodation forms part of the bill recently tabled in Parliament by the Finance Ministry and Geroulanos has stressed it will only be combined with five-star hotels. He added that interest in such an investment has already been expressed by Russia and Israel.

After his visits to Turkey, Russia, Israel and Ukraine, the minister said that all four markets have already seen an increase in visitors to Greece this year. New visas issued from Russia in the first six months of the year have posted a 60 percent increase year-on-year, while the rise from Ukraine amounted to 50 percent and from Israel 30 percent. An increase in traffic from Turkey has also been recorded.

Geroulanos added that his ministry, in association with the Foreign Ministry, is examining allowing major Russian tour operators to deliver visa applications to the Greek Embassy themselves and secure the visas without the additional costs of visa centers.

He added that following a proposal by his Israeli counterpart, they will travel together to India in September to attract tourists who are thinking of visiting both countries.