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Russia, Greece sign agreement to expand travel exchanges

May 30, 16:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The key goal of the agreement is to encourage tourist exchanges, to simplify tourism-related formalities and to establish contacts between Russian and Greek travel operators
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© EPA/FOTIS PLEGAS G.

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Tourism Agency (Rostourism) and Greece’s Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism have signed an agreement envisaging a program of joint actions to promote tourist exchanges in 2016-2018.

According to a Rostourism press statement released on Monday, the key goal of the agreement is to encourage tourist exchanges, to simplify tourism-related formalities and to establish contacts between Russian and Greek travel operators.

"The sides will cooperate in the areas of mutual promotion of national travel products, development of tourism-related education, investments in tourism, legislation," Rostourism said.

"Russian and Greece are strategic partners in the sphere of tourism," Rostourism chief Oleg Safonov said. "Greece offers our citizens high-quality, affordable and safe vacationing options and claims to be number one foreign vacationing destination for Russians this year. Russia, on its part, is interested in receiving more tourists from Greece and can offer various types of travel packages."

According to expert estimates, up to one million Russians are expected to visit Greece this year.

Maya Lomidze, the executive director of Russia’s Travel Operator Association, told TASS earlier that Greece was in high demand throughout April. It ranked first as a vacationing destination for the May Day holidays, with some travel operators demonstrating a 30-percent growth.

However, according to Lomidze, visa-related problems have scared off some of potential vacationers which entailed downwards tendencies in May. She said that as soon as such problems are settled, Greece will regain its positions on the travel market as the options it offers are on a par to what Russians used to have in Turkey, both in terms of price and the set of services.

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