V4 countries eye more tourists from Asia

February 21, 2015 12:45 am 

BRATISLAVA, Feb. 19 — Four central European countries signed a protocol here on Wednesday in an effort to attract more overseas tourists via enhanced cooperation.

The protocol, signed by representatives from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary, aims to attract more tourists from countries including China, the United States, India, the Republic of Korea and Singapore.

"We've united our common interests on foreign markets with this protocol so as to overcome the plunge in the market soon. There's a huge potential, they are people who have enough money and are interested in travelling," said Czech Republic's Local Development Minister Klara Dostalova.

The four countries, also known as the Visegrad Four, will promote tourism through spas, cultural activities and outdoor sports.

Dostalova highlighted the need for a direct flight linking the central European states to Asia and simplifying visa procedures for foreign tourists.

According to her, direct flights between Prague and Shanghai might be launched as early as in autumn this year.

Officials from the four countries also discussed the impact of the conflicts in Ukraine on tourism.

Frantisek Palko, State Secretary at the Slovak Transportation, Construction and Regional Development Ministry, said central European countries will engage in marketing efforts to increase the number of tourists in Russia and Ukraine. "The conflict has an unfavourable impact when it comes to the incoming tourism from Ukraine and Russia. We're aiming to present our activities and engage in marketing efforts in these countries so as to boost the number of tourists from these countries," he said. (PNA/Xinhua)

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