Greece and US update tourism memorandum after 30 years

Greece and the US signed an updated memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation on Monday, with the first one having been signed 31 years ago.

At the event, which took place at the foot of the Acropolis, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias and US Ambassador in Athens Geoffrey Pyatt signed the memorandum whose objective is to increase bilateral trade in travel services.

According to the Greek tourism minister, 2022 is expected to see record direct flights between Greece and the US.

Kikilias stressed that 2022 will be a record year in direct flights between Greece and the US, reaching up to nine per day, and offering more than 460,000 seats.

“Todays signing ceremony is not just representative of our great tourism relationship but overall our bilateral relationship which is at an all-time high.  Our countries are founded on the principle of democracy – a principle born a few hundred meters from us right here in the Athenian Agora — which we have both championed for hundreds of years. 

“And Im proud to say that this year, there will be a total of 14 direct flights from the United States to Athens, Greece.  Many of these will continue as late as October, ensuring that visitors have plenty of opportunity to take a well-deserved vacation and to enjoy the unique pleasures of this country.  This bodes very well for a tourism market ripe to receive eager tourists who are anticipating the end of a long and difficult pandemic.” noted Ambassador Pyatt,

 

Except from US Ambassador Pyatt’s Remarks:

“Our shared democratic ideals are more important now than ever before as we stand united in support of Ukrainian sovereignty and democracy in the face of Russias unprovoked and bloody invasion. 

“We are committed as the United States to working with all of our democratic allies and partners around the world to impose a cost on Russia for its actions and to work with all of our NATO Allies, as we do here in Greece every hour of every day to protect every square inch of NATO territory.

“And in the midst of this grand crisis of security, I’m really delighted that we have an opportunity to highlight some of the positive news as we look ahead towards what I am confident will be another successful Greek tourism year. 

“We saw Greeces tourism economy rebound in unexpected ways last summer.  Americans, I am glad to say, flocked to Greece, thanks in part to the nine direct flights from Athens that American carriers added to their schedules.  In March, Minister Kikilias and I were able to welcome the first Delta direct flight of 2022 and watched as multiple Americans disembarked, eager to begin their Greek holidays.  And just this last weekend United Airlines began its direct flight from New York as well. 

“And Im proud to say that this year, there will be a total of 14 direct flights from the United States to Athens, Greece.  Many of these will continue as late as October, ensuring that visitors have plenty of opportunity to take a well-deserved vacation and to enjoy the unique pleasures of this country.  This bodes very well for a tourism market ripe to receive eager tourists who are anticipating the end of a long and difficult pandemic.”