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In Winter, The Israelis prefer Greece
On Monday, September 6th 2010, completed late at night, the official visit of Greek Minister of Culture Mr. Paul Geroulanou in Israel. The visit came as a result of contacts and visits exchanged recently by the leaders of both countries Mr Giorgos Papandreou and Beniamin Netanyahu, and the agreements signed to further strengthen and develop relations and cooperation between Greece and Israel in areas such as tourism, new technologies, agricultural crops.

Mr Geroulanos visited Holocaust Museum, where he paid wreath tribute to victims of the Nazi period and then continued with a series of contacts with the counterparts of Tourism and Culture.

Earlier, he had visited the offices of the Greek National Tourism Organization in Tel Aviv, where he was informed by the heads of today's policy office in the region and the increased interest of the Israeli citizens to travel to Greece in the last months. It is worth noting that a large part of the 47% increase in arrivals of foreign tourists visiting Greece this summer was due to the upgrading of interest from the Middle East, which includes Israel.

During the dinner hosted in honor of the Minister the counterpart, Minister of Tourism of Israel Stasi Meseznikof was extensively discussed than other issues and the fact that Greece has been updated to appeal to tourist destinations of choice for Israeli citizens, especially mainland Greece and especially the winter tourism in conjunction with other activities offered by the Greek winter resorts.

Completing his contacts with Mr. Meseznikof, Mr Geroulanos said was a very productive meeting where we looked at areas where there may be further cooperation in tourism. The result of the contacts is to set up a delegation of Israeli tour operators who will travel to Greece in the near future in order to specify and refine the areas of development cooperation and deepen it.

In response Mr Meseznikof highlighted that it has become clear that good relations between our two countries can be greatly improved and this direction also includes the current visit and meeting of my Greek counterpart here in Israel. In the coming months at least five ministers from Israel will visit Greece in order to enhance cooperation particularly in economic sectors which will benefit both countries.

Late in the afternoon, Mr. Geroulanos attended a ceremony to launch the new Jewish year - which begins officially next Thursday - which held a central hotel in Israel, the Association of Hoteliers and tour operators in the country under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism of Israel. Greeted the attendees and  mentioned the new opportunities created in the tourism sector.

Shortly after Mr. Geroulanos met with his counterpart, Minister Limor Livnat Culture, which discussed issues of mutual interest. However, the issue that was discussed extensively was the initiative by the Greek Ministry of Culture to implement a program of cultural events with themes and context of the Middle East in 2011 in Thessaloniki. In particular, entities related to issues of culture have been invited to propose group thematic exhibitions on the Middle East. In this direction there have been already established working groups in the Greek hometown and working-level initiatives through exchange of views and ideas on the basis of creating a means for expression and realization of this cultural proposal.

Finally, the circle of contacts between the Greek delegation of the Ministry of Culture completed a series of contacts made by late evening with the heads of major travel agencies in Israel and a group of Israeli businessmen who have expressed interest in investing in our country.
Source: RED Magazine
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