New agreements are being made as part of an ongoing strategy to extend Greece’s tourist season, Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias has announced. “The show of interest is positive, both from Berlin and Vienna, as well as Paris and Stockholm, where I held a series of talks with my counterparts, heads of major airlines and leading tour operators. Travel packages for Greece are almost fully booked until October, while interest is also strong in the winter period, with many airlines already having extended their routes to Greece for the coming months,” Kikilias said.
The Tourism Minister added that news concerning travel from the other side of the Atlantic is also positive. Following the introduction of nine direct flights daily from the US to Greece, which led to the arrival of over 500,000 US travelers in summer 2022 – not counting those who visited via transit flights – the three largest US airlines have already extended their routes in the coming months. Kikilias referred to the example of Delta, which will keep its direct Athens-New York route open until January 10 (instead of the end of October, as originally planned), thus turning its activity in Greece into a ten-month period.
The minister underlined that eight out of ten investments in Greece right now are tourism-centric, which he says demonstrates the growth potential and added value of the tourism product in the Greek economy. “Our main objective remains offering tourists incentives to visit different parts of the country, twelve months a year. And it is in this context that the new program (run by the Greek National Tourism Organisation in collaboration with tour operators and airlines), as announced by the Prime Minister at the Thessaloniki International Fair and which will be further delineated during in the coming weeks, is being implemented,” the Tourism Minister stressed.
Talking about the country’s ambitious initiative to attract northern European visitors, mainly retirees, who are interested in visiting Greece during the coldest winter months to enjoy the warmer “Mediterranean winter,” Kikilias said that Crete, Rhodes and Kos are the three leading destinations for that period and can provide around 14.000 beds in large and small accommodations and hotels. This, he says, will offer a significant boost in revenues for the local economy.
“Every new traveler who visits our country is equivalent to a higher revenue. And every additional euro added to tourism revenues translates into additional fiscal support to Greek citizens and households, especially during such a critical time,” Kikilias said.
With information from moneyreview.gr.