Arab Today, arab today greece extends opening hours for 33 museums archaeological sites
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Greece extends opening hours for 33 museums, archaeological sites

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Greece extends opening hours for 33 museums, archaeological sites

Athens - XINHUA

In an attempt to attract more visitors in 2014 and boost the economy of the debt-laden country, the Greek government on Tuesday announced a pilot program extending the opening hours of 33 museums and archaeological sites nationwide. Monuments such as the Acropolis, Epidaurus, Royal Tombs of Vergina and Knossos will be open to the public from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. seven days a week from spring to autumn. Until now, most Greek museums and archaeological sites remained closed in the afternoons with the exception of the summer season. "Personnel is being reinforced with new employees and we also try to improve and extend the museum shops, accessibility, and in general to offer quality services to visitors," Minister of Culture and Sports Panos Panagiotopoulos stressed during a press conference. More than 1,100 seasonal employees have been recruited and 500 are to come till May to cover the needs of the pilot program. Te tourism and culture industry is seen as a viable solution to combat Greece's high unemployment rates. According to tour operators, Greece is expecting a record number of tourist visits in 2014 -- over 18.5 million or a 10 percent rise in comparison to 2013. The Acropolis in Athens was the most visited archaeological site. Other top attractions included the Mycenae Acropolis and Epidaurus, according to figures from the National Statistical Service of Greece. Wi-Fi networks at museums and archaeological sites, the design of mobile virtual tour applications, and the launch of an e-ticketing system for entrances are also being planned.

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