Athens and Boston are to become twin cities in a bid to strengthen ties and promote tourism cooperation.
The decision was announced during a recent visit by Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis to Boston, the capital of Massachusetts in the United States, where he met with his counterpart Michelle Wu.
“Athens and Boston are linked with a strong tradition, which is a reminder of our common principles and values,” Bakoyannis said.
“The twinning will create a new, modern and solid bridge of cooperation which will also contribute to the strengthening of economic ties with a positive impact on tourism,” he said.
“Athens can offer unique experiences to American travelers,” he said.
The twinning agreement foresees a series of joint actions and initiatives to promote Athens as a tourist destination for Bostonians, as for the first time in 25 years there will be a direct flight linking the two cities.
Delta Air Lines presented the new direct flight during an event held at the Consulate General of Greece in Boston.
Consul General Stratos Efthimiou hailed the launch saying that the “private sector… ultimately realized that this long-standing request by our diaspora in Boston presented a viable business opportunity at a time when Greece is emerging as a leading international travel destination.”
“I wish every success for this flight, which will make it easier for our expatriates to travel to our homeland and will bring high-income tourists to Greece,” he said.
Bakoyannis meanwhile attended a ceremony at which he presented four gilded olive branch wreaths from Greece to the Boston Athletic Association. The wreaths were used to crown the winners of Monday’s 126th running of the Boston Marathon.
“I am honored to present these four gold wreaths, cut from the plains of Marathon, as a gift from Greece. These wreaths connect Athens with the Boston Marathon and the ideals of democracy and peace,” he said.
Bakoyannis also invited Wu to visit the Greek capital during the 39th Authentic Marathon in November.