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2.5 million German tourists in Greece

More German tourists will visit Greece this year, underlining their preference for holidaying in this country…

More German tourists will visit Greece this year, underlining their preference for holidaying in this country, leading tour operators report.

Hellenic Tourism Organisation (EOT<.>) general secretary Evgenios Yiannakopoulos, who recently visited the ITB travel fair in Berlin, said that – in the absence of unforeseen events – the number of Germans vacationing in Greece in 2000 should rise by 5 or 6 percent compared to last year. For the first time, the figure is set to go beyond the 2.5-million mark while the government aims for it to exceed three million in the next two years.

Speaking to reporters, he referred to Greece's tourism policies and pointed out efforts to upgrade the quality of the country's tourism so that it can compete internationally. He spoke of the major public works projects under construction, such as the new international airport at Spata, road networks, ports and the network of marinas.

The focus on quality can be seen in the new rating systems for hotels and rented rooms as well as the incentives for modernisation of accommodation units, as provided for under the EU Community Support Fund, Yiannakopoulos said.

While 10 billion drachmas is being spent this year to promote Greece as a destination, the country will become the centre of attention in the runup to the Athens 2004 Olympics, he pointed out.

During his visit, Yiannakopoulos met with Turkish Tourism Minister Ercan Mumcu along with representatives of Germany's major tour operators such as TUI and Neckermann.

Sixty tourist enterprises and individuals representing almost all regions of the country were on hand at Greece's sizeable ITB stand, which Mumcu visited.

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