Flag of Greece flies atop Athens parliament building
Flag of Greece flies atop Athens parliament buildingSerge Attal/Flash 90

Israeli tourists will be offered 20 percent discounts this year at many Greek stores as part of an initiative to help the struggling Greek economy, Greek officials said.

The plan, announced last week by Deputy Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Mardas and the Hellenic Federation of Commerce and Enterprise, also will apply to visitors from the United States, Russia and Turkey.

Greek stores will voluntarily opt into the program and the discounts will be in addition to tax-free benefits for which tourists are already eligible, said the federation's president, Vassilis Korkidis.

In Greece, the tourism industry has been a lone bright spot in an economy that has been devastated by six years of crisis.

The period has also seen a large upturn in the numbers of Israelis visiting Greece as relations between the two countries have improved and security fears keep Israelis from neighboring Turkey.

Eligible tourists from the “honored” countries must show their passports, said Korkidis.

Greece’s Aegean Airlines will be distributing leaflets detailing participating stores.