ECONOMY

National Tourism Organization to launch Istanbul branch, Kefaloyianni says

Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni has announced the establishment of a Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) branch in Istanbul, Turkey.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 20th International Tourism Exhibition Philoxenia in Thessaloniki on Thursday, Kefaloyianni said the move is aimed at attracting Turkish visitors to the northern Greek city and boost its reputation as a city break destination.

A campaign promoting Greece as a tourism destination will take place in Istanbul next week, the conservative minister said.

Kefaloyianni also welcomed progress in Greece’s tourism figures, stressing the industry’s spill-over effect on other sectors of the debt-hit economy.

Tourism is the biggest cash earner for Greece’s economy, accounting for about 17 percent of its 185 billion-euro economic output. It employs one in five Greeks.

In an interview with Reuters earlier this week, Andreas Andreadis, the head of the main industry body SETE said that Greek tourism revenues should rise 13 percent to a record 13 billion euros in 2014.

Philoxenia takes place at the Thessaloniki Exhibition Center until Sunday.