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Minister boosts Greek holidays

Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni

Major drive this year to promote tourism.

Greek's tourism minister is in the UK to help promote . Greek Tourism Minister, Olga Kefalogianni, is meeting major tourism industry executives to strengthen ties with the UK tourism market to boost arrivals of British tourists to Greece.

She is to hold meetings with senior executives of holiday travel giants Thomas Cook and TUI Travel and to meet government ministers for tourism and foreign affairs.

It is part of a major drive this year to promote Greece and the Greek Islands as a tourist holiday destination not only in the UK but across the world.

Tourism is one of the biggest drivers of the Greek economy and the only sector that has show growth in recent years as Greece labours under tough financial cutbacks imposed by international bankers for substantial bailout loans.

According to a press release by the Greek Tourism Ministry, particular emphasis will be laid upon measures and policies to develop thematic tourism and to upgrade the quality of tourism packages offered to customers.

Greece no longer sees itself as a destination for cheap cut-price package holidays. It is looking for more sophisticated tourists and wants to offer more up-market holidays.

Greece has recently adopted a new institutional framework for Greek tourism and wants to strengthen entrepreneurship and open up new avenues on investment in the tourism industry. There are also plans to promote new Greek tourism destinations.

The Greek tourism minister is scheduled to give a series of interviews to international and UK media outlets such as TV and newspapers

During her stay in the UK, Mrs. Kefalogianni will visit the World Travel Market 2013 that opens its doors on 4 November at ExCeL London with a special Greek holiday advertising campaign set for the travel industry exhibition.

Initiatives to stimulate tourism in Greece next year also include plans to to promote Athens and Thessaloniki for city breaks with particular emphasis on their museums, galleries, and restaurants

It is the minister's second visit to the UK this year. In April she met travel company executives in London and also talking with the actor comedian Stephen Fry who is known for his love of Greece and his frequent holidays there.

The UK is considered Greece's second largest tourism market after Germany. During a visit to Greece earlier this year the chief executive of holiday giant TUI, Peter Long, said the company planned to offer even more holidays in the Greek Islands next year.

TUI, the parent company of Thomson and First Choice, aims to increase holiday offers in the Greek Islands by at least 300,000 and take its holiday visitors to Greece and the Greek Islands over the two million mark.

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