Greece ready to welcome 1 million tourists a week
Greece expected to welcome 1 million travelers a week, tourism minister says Vassilis Kikilias in a recent interview with ANA-MPA, highlighting the importance of industry as a key driver of the Greek economy, especially in view of the coming winter.
“This year, the tourism sector has demonstrated its key role; not only to strengthen the national economy, but also to offer important support in very difficult circumstances,” Kikilias said.
He attributed this year’s “unprecedented performance” to the hard work of the ministry and the top-notch services of Greek travel and tourism players.
“Greece has excellent entrepreneurs who, with effort, ingenuity and passion, offer travelers high-level services, which improve the Greek tourist product,” he said.
According to Kikilias, Greece will expect around 1 million passengers per week at the start of the July school year, which has seen more than 900,000 arrivals each week.
Kikilias said the South Aegean region had already surpassed its pre-pandemic levels of 2019 with an increase of 20% in July compared to 2019, 17,500 international flights and more than 3 million visitors.
“With teamwork, focused planning and timely interventions to meet this year’s challenges, some destinations have managed to approach or even exceed 2019 levels” despite the Russian-Ukrainian war, the energy crisis and inflationary pressures, Kikilias said.
The Minister confirmed the “dynamic return” of the UK, German and Scandinavian markets and the US market, whose arrivals in June increased by 50% compared to 2019 thanks in large part to the availability of more direct flights.
In addition, the Austrian market grew by 32% and Israel by 24%. “Greece is this year the number 1 destination for travelers from France, Israel, very high in the preferences of tourists from the Balkans, and in the first 3 positions in Germany and Scandinavia”, he said. declared.
Among the lesser-known destinations being promoted this year are Kastoria, Limnos and Nafpaktos, Kikilias said, adding that Crete, Rhodes and Kos were being promoted as ideal destinations for senior visitors in winter.
Kikilias concluded that one of the department’s biggest bets was to extend the tourist season beyond the traditional summer months. “We have no indications but evidence that the tourist season has already extended and, yes, will extend further,” he said.
“This year the season started earlier – from early March, with 63 direct flights per week from the US…cruise ship arrivals started early and have now reached 10 months of operations and we are strive for 12 months. And the number of visitors to the Acropolis has reached 2019 levels.”
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