UNWTO hosts exhibition on the influence of the Greek language

The exhibition The Greek Language and its Influence on Global Thinking is currently on display at UNWTO’s Headquarters following a collaboration between the Organization and the Embassy of Greece in Spain (Madrid, Spain, 22 May 2014).

Greece is the most recent UNWTO Member State to display a cultural exhibition at the Organization’s headquarters in Madrid. The Greek Language and its Influence on Global Thinking gives insight into the contributions of the Greek language to the history of mankind - spanning over the past 3000 years.

“Tourism in Greece is showing record numbers, and the legacy of the Greek language is one of the many cornerstones of the Greek culture that inspires tourists from all over the world to visit Greece”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai during the opening of the exhibition.

The Ambassador of Greece to Spain, Franciscos Verros, highlighted the importance of tourism for Greece: “The development of tourism can and should lead the way out of the crisis. Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the Greek economy representing over 16% of GDP. The Greek language and the Greek culture constitute one of the main attractions for visitors, helping them to understand the contribution of Greek civilization to the Western World”.

On the occasion, Mr. Rifai welcomed the initiative of Greece´s Ministry of Culture and Tourism to boost tourism demand through a realigned national tourism strategy much in line with UNWTO´s key policies.

“I applaud Greece´s decision to reduce the VAT on hotels and tourism services, simplify visa procedures and its proactive efforts to diversify Greece´s tourism products.  These initiatives have greatly stimulated tourism demand and have fueled the optimistic prospects for Greece´s tourism in 2014 - offering a much needed boost at this critical stage of Greece´s economic revival”, said Mr. Rifai.

Note to editors:

In 2013, Greece welcomed close to 18 million tourists, a 16% growth compared to 2012, while tourism receipts reached unprecedented levels, injecting 12 billion euros to the Greek economy.  Since early 2013, Greece also hosts the first Sustainable Tourism Observatory in Europe under the auspices of UNWTO in the Aegan Islands, monitoring the environmental, social and economic impacts of tourism, while implementing sustainable tourism practices in close cooperation with the public and private sector.



UNWTO Senior Media Officer: Marcelo Risi

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UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme

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