Common declaration about holding the Cross year of tourism was signed September, 19 in 2017 at «Expocenter» by Helen Kundura and Deputy Minister of culture of Russia Alla Manilova.
They also formed preliminary plan of bilateral programs and projects for development Russian-Greek tourism.
During the opening ceremony commissioners of Cross year from both sides mentioned the fact of two nations` spiritual closeness, their centuries-old cultural and historical connections.
Holding the Cross year of tourism Russia-Greece 2017–2018 was initiated by Greek side in continued of successful Cross year Russia-Greece 2016. Last year Ministries realized mass program of events in the cultural and tourism sphere: were prepared more than 50 projects at the musical and theatrical art, cinema, exhibition changes, science and exploration, cultural, educational and pilgrimage tourism, interregional cooperation.
Among events, which were planned during the Cross year of tourism are participating in development and promotion of cultural Alla Manilova noticed that Cross year Russia-Greece 2016 brought notable results. «We fixed a growth of mutual tourist flows in the end of 2016. Number of Greek tourists in Russia increased by 8%, Russian by 23%. 850 thousand of Russian tourists visited this country by information of Greek national tourist organization.»
Alla Manilova also remembered, that during first half of 2017 number of tourists in Greece increased still by 16%.
— The year began with very positive base. We wait the visible, weighty, perhaps even radical growth of tourist flows from this year. It isn`t only millions, that will bring tourists to treasury of two countries. It is communication of our citizens, knowledge of history, culture, nature, traditions and strengthening friendship. It`s an opportunity to give a powerful impulse to mutual development of our countries. Also she declared that holding of Cross years often lead to the visa process simplification. Last year Greek side faced with a problem of growing demand, reduced the period of issuing visas to Russians, increased a number of visa centers and more often issued multiple-entry visas.
— After successful 2016 year we decided to held a Cross year of tourism of both countries in 2017–2018. It will be a wonderful year, full of events. I`m sure that tourism unites nations. We have already developed a program of events, which will be held in different regions of Russia and Greece, — said Helen Kundura, Minister of tourism of Greece.
She also noticed that this year Russia and Greece entered the joined the executive council of UNWTO.
— We would like to thank to Russia for a support in voting. Both our countries are at the leader positions in this organization. This imposes an additional responsibility on us, but from the other side it will undoubtedly benefit, — underlined Greek Minister.
September, 19 in the evening was held solemn ceremony of opening the Cross year of tourism Greece-Russia 2017–2018 in the Embassy of Greece in Russia.
The highlight of the ceremony was the performance of the musical team of Georgios Katsaros — a well-known Greek musician and songwriter, art director of the Municipal Symphony Orchestra of Athens.