The first group of 120 tourists from the Netherlands using arrangements of tour-operator "Arke Travel -TUI", arrived in Ohrid on Friday.
A formal event was held at Ohrid-based airport "St. Paul the Apostle", with Economy Minister Valon Saraqini and Netherlands Ambassador to Macedonia Marriet Schuurman greeting the Dutch tourists.
Minister Saraqini wished the guests a warm welcome, saying they should acquaint with Macedonia as much as possible during their stay and convey their impressions to friends at home.
Saraqini told reporters efforts would be implemented this year towards increasing the number of foreign tourists in Macedonia.
"Besides lowering the VAT for tourism services, we have adopted a new rulebook on categorization of capacities, which would significantly improve services offered by hotels. Another measure for attraction of tourists is the subsidizing of low-cost airlines with EUR 4,9 million allocated for the next three years", said the Economy Minister.
According to expectations, nine flights carrying foreign tourists are to land at the Ohrid airport every week.
"Taking into account information we have from tour-operators, we expect about 700 tourists per day from the Benelux countries only. Over 14,000 tourists are expected from the Netherlands this year", emphasized Saraqini while thanking the Dutch Embassy for successful promotion of Macedonia as an attractive tourism destination.
Ambassador Schuurman recalled that such charter flights brought 22,000 Dutch guests to Macedonia last year.
"We are convinced that more tourists will come from the Netherlands this year. I know that Dutch tourists like Macedonia very much, which has been confirmed by the fact that many who came last year are planning to spend their holidays here again this summer", underlined Schuurman.
Warm welcome for ArkeFly and tourists from The Netherlands
The first group of tourists from The Netherlands arrived at Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport, marking the beginning of the tourist season. The guests were welcomed by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, HE Marriet Schuurman, the Minister of Economy, Mr. Valon Saraqini and the General Manager of TAV Macedonia, Mr. Zoran Krstevski. The welcoming ceremony was organised by TAV Macedonia and the local TUI operator. According to the Macedonian tradition, the guests were offered bread and salt, but also cake and champagne.