Greece woos Indian tourists, Bollywood film fraternity
The Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO), as part of its 3-year-strategic plan, is making a foray into the Indian tourism market with the Greek Minister for Tourism Elena Kountoura targeting India as a 'promising market' of affluent Indian tourists and its Bollywood circuit seeking ideal film shooting locales available in Greece.
"India and Greece are both lands filled with ancient histories and heros where we have Hercules, Achilles, Alexander the Great and we want to promote Greece as an ideal destination for film tourism, destination weddings and celebrations, and other products like honeymoon holidays, MICE and FITS," the Minister told media here on Thursday, adding that the Acropolis and Delphi sites witnessed lots of Bollywood films being shot there and tourists presence increasing among Greece's 100 islands.
"Bollywood is very important for us as one picture (film) is worth a thousand words and Bollywood's films travel globally where millions of people see its movies including those featuring Greece's open museums that are an ideal stage for film locations," Kountoura said while mentioning Greek Tourism's participation in the three-day OTM 2017 in Mumbai to promote Greece.
"While direct India-Greece flights are needed to increase incoming Indian tourists, Indian and Greek airlines have signed this agreement in September 2016 as our Greek Airlines does not make long-haul flights. While around 25,000 India-issued tourist visas were issued during 2016, the actual visitor numbers has tripled due to many flying via Rome and Paris to Greece which is among the Indians' top three European destinations," she said while also urging for Indian investments in which Greece offered a five year family residency visa.
Noting that GNTO is establishing its office in India now, Dimitrios Tryfonopoulos, Secretary-General, GNTO, said he had met with Bollywood film producers and would be presenting their proposals to the Greek government. "We are here to offer them and tourists positive and attractive financial deals in choosing Greece as a film-shooting destination," he said.