“This year, tourism has shown that it is indeed Greece’s “heavy industry” and can not only bolster the national economy but also provides significant support under the most difficult of conditions,” Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias recently stressed in an interview with the Athens Macedonian News Agency (AMNA), adding that no one can dispute the excellent course that tourism in Greece has taken so far.
The minister underlined that every week this summer Greece has been welcoming close to one million visitors. It is worth noting that in July, arrivals exceeded 900,000 per week.
Speaking of the unprecedented number of arrivals recorded at Greek destinations this year, the minister focused on the southern Aegean, stating that in July this region recorded a rapid increase in arrivals, with numbers surpassing those in 2019 by 20% with 17,500 international flights and more than three million travelers.
Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and tourism losses suffered by Greece this year from Russia and Ukraine, the minister stressed that in 2022, following the huge crisis in tourism caused by the pandemic in the last few years, the markets of the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and other countries have returned strongly.
Kikilias also made special reference to arrivals from the US, stressing that in June they were up by 50% compared to 2019, while a 32% increase was recorded for tourists from Austria and 24% from Israel. “Greece this year is the number one destination for travelers from France and Israel, of very high preferences for tourists from the Balkans, and among the top three destinations for tourists from Germany and Scandinavia,” the Tourism Minister said.
One of the biggest bets for Greek tourism this year is the extension of the tourist season. Asked to comment on this, Kikilias said: “There are not just indications, but solid evidence that the tourist season has already been extended.”