In an interview to Greek newspaper Vradini, the tourism minister said that bookings to Greece from traditional and new markets this year were up 15 to 70 percent compared to 2016.
The minister said that at least 150 new air connections and 6,000 extra flights to regional airports, in destinations including Kos, Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Aktion and Thessaloniki, are expected in Greece this season.
“The new connections are from many European cities, but also from countries such as Russia, Israel and Lebanon,” Minister Kountoura said, adding that new direct flights from Asia, the Middle East and the US are expected at Athens International Airport.
Minister Kountoura also referred to the emerging markets of the Middle East, China and North Korea from which Greece experienced a two digit growth in high income visitors and expects the same for this year. She also mentioned that this year Greece will see a 30 percent increase of tourists from India, according to data from visa centers.
Moreover, the minister said that 120 million euros in EU subsidies will be available in the coming months to new small and medium sized tourism enterprises through the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2014-2020 program.