Greek tourism is expected to recover in 2004 with the Athens Olympic Games, Greece’s National Tourism Organisation’s president Yiannis Patellis said on Thursday. In a statement released on the occassion of celebrating the World Tourism Day in September 27, Patellis stressed that the tourism sector employs directly 300,000 people and another 200,000 indirectly. He predicted that the industry could create another 200,000 jobs by 2010.
Patellis underlined that GNTO has drafted a special long-term programme of tourist development, based on the adoption of integrated regional surveys aimed to specialise the country’s tourist product.
About 14 million tourists visit Greece yearly, according to the Institute of Tourism Research & Forecasting, and that number is expected to increase in 2004 as Athens will play host to the Olympic Games.
About 10,500 athletes are expected to compete in the Olympics in 28 sports from Aug. 13 to 29. The site of the 2004 Games also was the location of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
Athens is home to many existing historical structures, such as the Parthenon and the ancient theatre of Dionysos — sites prominent in Greek mythology and now popular tourist attractions.