Turkish, Greek tourism ministers discuss joint efforts to promote Aegean Sea

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The tourism ministers of Turkey and Greece have discussed possible joint efforts to promote the Aegean Sea as a holiday destination at a time when the coronavirus hits the tourism industry globally.

Turkey’s Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy on May 20 held a telephone conversation with his Greek counterpart Haris Theoharis to exchange views on how to promote the Aegean region to lure tourists.

The ministers reckoned that in the short to medium-term potential holidaymakers, particularly those in European countries, are not likely to travel to distant locations for vacation but they will rather choose places in closer proximity.

Based on this assessment, the minister discussed possibilities of promoting the Aegean Sea as a “safe holiday destination,” the Turkish Tourism Ministry said in a statement.

The ministers also stressed that the number of coronavirus cases in both countries are falling and travel restrictions may be eased, and border gates could reopen in June.

During the telephone conversation Ersoy and his Greek counterpart weighed the prospects of joint efforts to promote the Aegean Sea to seize those opportunities, according to the statement.

Turkey has engaged in an intense “tourism diplomacy” as it prepares for the new tourism season and is working on strategies to lure international visitors to the country.

Ersoy said last week that Turkey started to carry out telephone diplomacy with dozens of countries to inform them about the country’s health infrastructure over the pandemic.

The country has sent letters of intent to those 70 countries — which preferred Turkey the most as a tourist destination in recent years — including Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, Russia, and Czech Republic.

The letters included information on passenger and employee health and safety, measures taken in facilities and in transportation, provincial and district level health institutions’ lists and capacities, Ersoy said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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