The Greek Minister of Tourism, Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos travelled to India and participated in the 5th World Travel & Tourism Summit, which took place from April 8-10, 2005 in New Delhi. In a series of highly interactive discussions and key-note presentations, 700 leading government, industry and media players from around the world discussed the need for the Travel & Tourism sector to realize its full potential for social and economic good in the forthcoming years.
The inauguration of the congress was declared by the Honourable President of India, Dr Abdul Kalam, who said among others that an integrated approach with the simultaneous growth of means of transportation and the construction of streets and health centres will increase the number of tourists that visit his country. Also, he stressed the need to develop wider tourist regions in Southern Asia instead of the local and national tourism.
Then, the Indian Minister of Tourism, Mrs. Renuka Chowdhury asked from the tourist industry to invest in this sector and added that the government facilitates the investment of foreigner capital at 100% in tourism and in hotel enterprises.
The Greek Minister had discussions with the Indian Minister of Tourism as well as with highly influential world leaders of tourism describing how the Travel & Tourism industry can create genuine prosperity for everyone involved. He also met with a panel of Indian industrialists,businessmen and investors and spoke for the new prospective and opportunities for tourist investments in Greece. He accepted an invitation to attend a special meeting – Forum in New Delhi next December and counter proposed the repetition of the meeting in Athens with the attendance of interested persons from the Greek economic, commercial and enterprising industries. These meetings will have as main objective to place in a concrete base a closer collaboration between the two countries, with particular emphasis in the sector of investments. The Indian businessmen underlined their interest to invest in Greece underlining the dynamics of the Indian economy and the prospects of investing abroad. Greece stands first in the interest of the Indian investors, since it can constitute the gate of India to Europe, more specifically after the successful organisation of the Olympic Games in Athens that has strengthened the international prestige of the country.
In the frames of the congress a protocol of collaboration was signed between the Greek Chairman of IATTA, Yannis Evagelou and the Chairman of the Union of Indian Tourist Agents.
With his return to Athens, Mr Avramopoulos announced the creation of 49 new offices of the Greek Touristic Organisation (EOT) abroad, beginning with Beijing and N. Delhi. Time horizon for the foundation of the new offices is the coming September. Mr. Avramopoulos stressed also, that Greece is opened in all the new emerging tourist markets, with which a period of collaboration begins with final objective the dynamic presence of our country in the world economic and investment environment.