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UK Market Warms Up To Greece

Greek tourism professionals optimistic for next year

Greek tourism professionals came back from London's WTM 2012 with positive feedback and are optimistic for next year's tourism season.

Greek tourism professionals came back from London’s WTM 2012 with positive feedback and are optimistic on next year’s tourism season.

International public opinion has shifted and is now in favor of Greece due to the efforts of the Greek coalition government and this year’s 16 million international arrivals, Andreas Andreadis, president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), said after his return from the World Travel Market that took place recently in London, UK.

Mr. Andreadis characterized this year’s 16 million international arrivals (that translates to 10 billion euros in revenue) as “an incredible number” considering that Greece suffered huge negative publicity in the first half of the tourism season.

SETE’s president said the first signs of bookings to Greece for 2013 were encouraging. “We are optimistic that the target of 17 million visitors will be achieved and will provide 11 billion euros in direct revenue and an extra 1.5 point to GDP,” he said.

However, Mr. Andreadis said that following the passing of the 2013 national budget, the political leaders of Greece’s partners must move accordingly towards the direct financing of the Greek economy and the tackling of the country’s debt sustainability.

In regards to 2012 figures specifically from the UK market, the General Panhellenic Federation of Tourism Enterprises (GEPOET) said a significant double-digit growth in arrivals –some 15 percent– and less in terms of revenue, had been recorded. The federation said the final figures would be available towards the end of the year.

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“The forecasts for 2013 are promising and British tour operators are referring to a 10-15 percent increase in bookings for 2013,” GEPOET said after returning to Greece from WTM 2012.

“In any case, bookings will be formed according to the political developments in the country and whether next season will start on time and proceed smoothly without elections or other political and economic developments,” the federation concluded.

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