The message that “this is the moment of Athens” was sent by the Mayor of Athens Mr. Costas Bakogiannis during the meeting he had on Wednesday afternoon with the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili and the Minister of Tourism Mr. Haris Theocharis, at the City Hall.

“Athens is returning to everyday life safely and is ready to welcome its visitors again,” said the Mayor of Athens.

Mr. Pololikashvili, who is currently in the Greek capital as part of the 66th Meeting of the Committee of the World Tourism Organization for Europe, referred to the ongoing effort of the Organization to form more “smart cities” around the world and praised Athens for the important work that has been implemented in this direction.

The excellent cooperation between the Ministry of Tourism and the Municipality of Athens was emphasized by Mr. Theocharis, who referred to landmark projects that have been carried out in the city, with an example of the renovation of Omonia Square. He also spoke about the recovery of tourism, pointing out that “Greece has returned”.

At the same time, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization stressed the need – which he has identified from his contacts – for an immediate return to travel, adding that vaccination is a catalyst for achieving the goal.

“It is a challenge for Athens to offer its visitors the image of a city that adheres to the rules and health protocols,” said the Mayor of Athens and sharing his own experience of traveling abroad, he noted that Greece remains relatively committed to measure compliance.

Regarding the bet on sustainable development in Athens, he underlined that the current municipal authority has invested a lot through the Development and Tourism Promotion Company of the Municipality (EATA). He also noted that the know-how used on a daily basis during the pandemic is important in the implementation of important development projects, in order to make Athens an even more attractive, sustainabl,e and accessible destination.

Finally, he pointed out that no investment was canceled or stopped due to the pandemic as an extremely positive sign  and cited as an example the 20 new hotels in the area of ​​Omonia. The meeting ended with the commitment of all representatives for even closer cooperation in the near future.

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