As the efforts for the opening of Greek tourism started on May 14, the actions for the promotion of our tourist product in Russia continue. What do the first messages from the Russian territory for this year show? The director of the EOT Moscow office, Polykarpos Efstathiou, speaks to Sputnik.
As the pandemic appears to be under control in Russia, Moscow’s largest tourism fair (MITT) will normally be held this year.
The Greek participation will take place against the background of the resounding absence of Italy, Spain and Cyprus.
“Greece will normally participate in MITT in a few days together with two other countries with tourist interest (s.s. for Russia), Turkey and Bulgaria. But large southern European countries will be absent. “Despite the pandemic, the promotion of the Greek tourism product has never stopped in Russia and we are continuing the promotion activities even more actively,” said Polycarp Efstathiou, director of the EOT Moscow office, speaking to Sputnik.
One of these actions aspires to send a strong message against COVID-19 from Greece and Russia.
Polycarpos Efstathiou receives the award of Greece
© PHOTO: GNTO.GOV.GR
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In this context, 50 Russian doctors who fought the pandemic on the front lines with their families will be in Greece this summer.
“Since last year, we tried to implement this project, but then the borders were not opened. This is a collaboration with the Mouzenidis group “, adds Mr. Efstathiou.
The messages from Russia
As the Greek government aims to open tourism on May 14, according to Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis, in the context of the ITB Berlin International Tourism Fair, the first messages from Russia are arriving.
As Mr. Efstathiou points out, the interest of the Russians in our country is huge and this can be seen from the workshops in which our country participates.
Russian Embassy in Bouboulina
© PHOTO: RUSSIAN EMBASSY / TWITTER
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“Thousands of tourists want to come to our country when tourism opens and this year especially, it is very likely that we will have a very large percentage of the number that came in 2019. My personal estimate that around 500,000 people from Russia may come this year year, once the health protocols and a series of conditions for which the Ministry of Tourism works feverishly are finalized “, points out the director of EOT Moscow.
Actions inspired by the common history of Greece-Russia
According to information, the Ministry of Tourism is preparing a series of actions in 2021 that are inspired by the common historical tradition of Greeks and Russians.
Through social media, an action is carried out that concerns the Greek destinations that are related to the common history of the two countries.
At the same time, another action concerns the painting competition “Greece-Russia 1821” organized by the Embassy of Greece in Russia, in collaboration with EOT Moscow on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the National Liberation Struggle, but also of the year History of Greece-Russia.
Greece and Russia
© PHOTO: TWITTER / MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
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One of the innovations of this competition is that children aged 7 to 12 from schools in Moscow and the wider region of the Russian capital will be able to participate and paint on the theme of the Greek revolution.
“The winning child will have the opportunity together with his companion to make a trip to Crete, offered by EOT Moscow, when this is allowed by the epidemiological data. Through this competition, Greece will gain wide publicity and visibility within Russia. It is an initiative of the Public Diplomacy office which we support “, notes Mr. Efstathiou.
In an upcoming event of EOT, finally, the advantages of medical tourism in our country will be highlighted.
It is worth noting that EOT Moscow had a significant share in the leading promotion of Greek tourism so far. When the Russian cosmonaut Anton Skaplerov took with him in space the EOT badge and the Greek flag. For this reason and for his contribution to the rehabilitation program of cosmonauts, Polycarpos Efstathiou was honored with the medal of the first man in space “Yuri Gagarin”, following a decision of the Federation of Russian Cosmonauts at the end of 2019.