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MENAFN - Arab News - 11/02/2014
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(MENAFN -Arab News) Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), and Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni signed here Monday a strategic accord to promote tourism between the two countries.After signing the joint agreement, Prince Sultan told Arab News: “Greece is a beautiful country. It is a world-class cultural destination and Saudi Arabia will benefit a lot from its experience.“We discussed many avenues including tourism, cultural exchanges and training programs for Saudis in the tourism sector,” the prince said.The event was attended by SCTA’s top officials and Greek Ambassador to Riyadh Loannis Christofilis, who was accompanying the Greek high-level delegation.Speaking about the salient features of the agreement, Kefalogianni told Arab News that Greece being the cradle of Western civilization and Saudi Arabia being the cradle of Arab civilization and a very important country in this region, it was decided to exchange know- how, best practices, and experiences of both countries. “We believe that Saudi Arabia and Greece have a lot in common, a lot of experiences and know-how to share not only in terms of tourism but also with respect to restoring and showcasing history, culture and civilization,” the minister said. The visiting minister invited Saudis to visit her country. “We would like to see more Saudis visiting Greece and more Greeks visiting Saudi Arabia and this is one of the reasons why we are here,” she said, adding: “We would like to exchange know-how and experiences in training, education and tourism.”She said that Greece wants to bring together and implement a project that has to do with cultural exchange and the vast historical references which are very important to the two countries.Referring to tourism’s role in job creation, Kefalogianni said: “We have seen that tourism is a very important sector and contributes a lot to job creation in Greece. We want to see more people employed in the tourism sector and we believe that in exchanging know-how and experiences this can be done in the best way possible for both our countries.”According to her, one out of five Greeks is employed in tourism and this is very important for the country. She said: “There is a lot of potential for tourism in all regions in Greece and I believe the same applies to Saudi Arabia and I think it is very important to exchange the best practices.”The visiting Greek Minister spoke highly of the beautiful atmosphere in Riyadh and the warm and hospitable people.“First of all I would like to say that I am very happy to be here. It is a magnificent city, a very beautiful country, with very warm and hospitable people,” she said, adding “We felt this the moment we arrived here.”She said that the weather is very nice and can be compared to Greece which has a moderate climate which is the reason it is a popular destination all the year round.The agreement aims to boost cooperation in the tourism sector, generate growth in tourist traffic and offer opportunities to the southern European nation to showcase its tourism products and services in the local market.


 


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