Greece and Saudi Arabia agreed to work on further strengthening ties through mutual tourism initiatives, said Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki, who was part of the Greek delegation participating in the Saudi-Greek Investment Forum held in Riyadh.

Zacharaki together with Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development Olympia Anastasopoulou met with Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb to lay out the foundations of cooperation in tourism focusing on investments, exchange of know-how, and education and training. 

Zacharaki welcomed the launch of more direct flights to Mykonos and Santorini, which in addition to the current flights offered by SAUDIA and AEGEAN Airlines, demonstrate the interest of Saudi travelers in Greece. In view of the growing demand, Zacharaki said there was a need to further increase the number of destinations being served as well as the air connectivity between the two countries.

“A new era in the relations between the two countries begins. Greece and Saudi Arabia are already cooperating very closely on all levels and from our contacts here it has emerged that tourism is the absolute priority for both countries,” said Zacharaki.

The minister went on to present the country’s tourism recovery strategy, adding that data revealing a great demand for Greek destinations and increased bookings made Greece a healthy investment option.

Saudi authorities commended Greece on its effective management of the Covid-19 pandemic and acknowledged the tourism industry’s resilience which has established the country as a leader on the global tourism market.

Participating in a panel discussion, Zacharaki said both countries can benefit from the alternating tourism seasons and referred to the high quality services Greece can offer the most demanding travelers.

“Greece is the main gateway of Saudi Arabia to the European market, opening up huge opportunities for Greek tourism. Opportunities that we are determined to make the most of,” said Zacharaki.