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28 April, 1998
An interministerial coordinating council yesterday decided on several measures for the upcoming tourist season in light of an expected increase in tourist arrivals for 1998.
Development Minister Vasso Papandreou, who chaired the meeting, noted that directly or indirectly several agencies and ministries are involved in overseeing tourism activities, therefore, coordination is all important.
The coordinating body decided to increase medical personnel in the tourist regions, especially general practitioners and pediatricians. Two mobile medical units will be used for immediate response in critical cases, while by May 25 a tendering for the purchase of medical evacuation helicopters will be completed.
In addition, museums will remain open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, while a single admission policy will be expanded to all archaeological sites and a pilot program of season tickets will be implemented.
Other measures included funds for the systematic upkeep of archaeological sites, while efforts will be made for the improvement of ports as information posters on taxi prices will be placed in strategic locations.
Furthermore, the transport ministry will hand out pamphlets with basic language information to taxi drivers in order to attempt to improve services rendered to tourists.
The merchant marine ministry will enact an electronic reservation system for passenger shipping as well as providing relevant information on the Internet.
Finally, a new air traffic control system will be put in use, landing fees will not be increased and all increases will be announced a year in advance.
Ms Papandreou added that market controls will be strict so as to minimize price gouging.
Public Order Minister George Romeos said that police in tourist regions will be reinforced by 800 officers.
Also present at the meeting were Environment Minister Costas Laliotis, Transport and Communications Minster Tassos Mantelis, Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Commerce Undersecretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis, Health and Welfare Undersecretary Manolis Skoulakis and Greek National Tourism Organization ( EOT) President Nikos Skoulas.
Source: Athens News Agency