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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-12-06

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM confers with Tourism Minister on 2008 policy targets

  • [01] PM confers with Tourism Minister on 2008 policy targets

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis met Thursday with Tourism Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, for a review of tourism policy and the targets for 2008.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Spiliotopoulos said that the main focus of the policy was that tourism should be considered as a revenues-generating factor, while emphasis would also be placed on the quality of services provided and the attraction of visitors to the country.

    Spiliotopoulos further referred to pilot programmes in the branches of eco-tourism and green tourism, as well as to specialised products, in an expansion away from the time-worn "sun and sea" slogan, and spoke of a "leap in quality" rather than in numbers.

    Replying to questions regarding the ailing national carrier Olympic Airways, the minister said that any moves and handlings must be cautious, and with respect for the taxpayers' money, but also for the sentimental and symbolic value of the national carrier.

    He said the handling has been in the right direction, adding that the next steps will be cautious, and the handling serious, on the basis of the two aforementioned factors.

    To a question on whether transport and communications minister Costis Hatzidakis had been "hasty", given there was no specific plan, Spiliotopoulos told the journalists that "you are hasty in rushing to conclusions", adding that the government's "pace is correct and cautious".

    The minister also called for a halt to the "commotion" over the issue, warning that it did not help the tourism product, but added that the tourism flow was normal for the winter period, and that it would continue to be so over the holiday season.

    Spiliotopoulos stressed that Olympic Airways was "flying and operating" while, in reply to questions, said that the tourism development ministry's planning was based on the present facts and status, "which is that Olympic Airways is in operation".

    Caption: ANA-MPA/ file photo showing Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

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