Following the incident with the missing Malaysian MH370 plane, Chinese tourists have been diverting from their usual south-east Asia travels and looking for something different in the Mediterranean, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The WTTC includes Greece among these destinations.
“The economic counselor’s officer of the Chinese Embassy in Greece has already suggested that the number of Chinese arrivals should further increase in 2014, especially after a series of direct flights between the two countries were launched last month,” the WTTC mentioned in a case study it released on Greece this month.
“Whether it is young couples wanting to spend their honeymoon among historic ruins or families seeking a European beach holiday, it is expected that around 100,000 Chinese visitors will head to Greece this year,” the WTTC added.
Some 40,000 Chinese tourists applied for a visa to visit Greece in 2013.
The WTTC commented that Greece seems to be becoming increasingly favored by certain markets, which seem to be the right ones.
Also, the Der Standard newspaper recently revealed that Greece is the most favored destination for Austrian tourists. One of the biggest travel agencies in Austria, Verkehrsburo, has Greece top of its list when it comes to the proportion of bookings made for this summer (15 percent), beating the likes of Turkey (12.7 percent), Spain (12.1 percent), Italy (7.9 percent) and the US (5.9 percent).
“While countries such as Croatia and France have seen their bookings climb this year by around two percent, this doesn’t compare to the 12 percent rise for Greece, especially for those seeking something last minute,” the WTTC said.
On the other end of the spectrum, according to the WTTC, bookings to Egypt have fallen by 14.2 per cent in Austria – a sign that many travelers still feel uneasy about traveling to the region.