15 April, 2006
The success of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens put Greece back on the international tourism map," tourism development minister Fanny Palli-Petralia said in an interview to the Greek service of the 'Voice of America' during her four-day visit to Washington D.C. that concluded on Wednesday, which was broadcast on Friday.
While in the US capital, Petralia addressed the Global Travel and Tourism Summit and met with US government officials and representatives of the tourism market, while she also delivered an address at Georgetown University on "Challenges and Opportunities for Tourism in post-Olympics Greece". She further attended the premiere of a production of Aeschylus' 'Persians' staged at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington with funding by the Alexander Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.
Speaking on the targets and results of her US visit, Petralia said that "I came to Washington as minister of tourism development, a post I have held for only the past two months, since before that I was at the ministry of culture, and responsible for the Olympic Games".
Petralia explained that the purpose of her visit was to attend the Global Travel and Tourism Summit, which was attended by representatives from all over the world, with whom she had the opportunity to speak with and present the Greek views.
"It was a constructive trip, both because I met with the US government officials dealing with tourism, and also with tour operators, travel bureaus, and key figures in the tourism industry. I also had the opportunity to ascertain that Greece is a very popular destination and that, as I was told, we have the best product, which is Greece. The best advertising we can do is to advertise the country itself," she said.
Petralia further said that another purpose of her trip was to see the immense prospects that exist to attract more American visitors and tourists to Greece.
"I would say the time is ripe to increase that number," she said.
Source: Athens News Agency