According to media reports, Mr. Schaefer said bookings to Greece were increasing three to four percent compared to 2012.
Arrivals from the German market to Greece were down last year mainly because of worries about anti-German sentiment due to forced austerity measures on the Greeks in return for international aid.
According to the Bank of Greece, in 2012, tourism revenue from Germany dropped by 10.2 percent to 2.24 billion euros. German arrivals fell by 5.9 percent to 2.1 million.
However, the trend seems to be changing. A clearer picture on the Germans’ preferences for the 2013 tourism season will be revealed during leading travel trade show ITB Berlin that will open its doors to the international travel trade sector on Wednesday 6 March.
Positive signs for Greek tourism this year
Arrivals to Greece are expected to surpass 17 million this year, according to the president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Andreas Andreadis. In 2012, Greece saw 16 million international arrivals and some 10 billion euros in revenue.
Speaking at the Bank of Greece’s shareholders meeting recently, Mr. Andreadis referred to data that indicated a 20 percent increase from the UK market and a 15 percent rise from the German, French and Scandinavian markets.
SETE’s president underlined that the rising demand from the developing markets of Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Turkey had lead to some 20 percent increase in charter flights to Greece.
However, he noted that arrival increases from Italy, Spain and Bulgaria were difficult to achieve due to the economic crisis.