The Ionian islands and Crete are Greece’s winning destinations in terms of tourism-related revenue per visitor and duration of stay, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said while addressing the 7th Regional Conference for Productive Reconstruction recently held on Corfu.
Together with Alternate Labor Minister Rania Antonopoulou and Ionian Islands Region Vice Governor Spyros Galiatsatos, Kountoura met with local stakeholders and discussed ways to strengthen tourism in the region and boost employment.
“Through our contacts and negotiations with international tour operators and airlines, and thanks to the excellent cooperation we have established with the Ionian Islands Region, we have achieved stronger demand for Greece, reflected in the increase in tourist traffic and connectivity,” Kountoura said while referring to the Ionian Islands’ continuously improving performance.
According to data, the Ionian Islands Region, which includes favorites such as Corfu, Zankythos and Paxi, is recording impressive growth in the number of international arrivals, the duration of stay and in tourism-related revenue. Indicatively, 2016 saw arrivals up by more than 13 percent and the number of international visitors exceeding 2.4 million. A further increase of 10 percent followed in 2017 with the launch of 30 new direct flights.
The minister went on to underline that the Ionian Island Region has all the prerequisites to offer year-round tourism products, while adding that the “main challenge now is to increase availability and promote quality-focused investments to meet the ever-increasing demand from international tourism markets”.
In this direction, Kountoura referred to 20 investment plans for 4- and 5-star hotels, a tourism complex project and a theme park in the region currently being examined by the ministry, as well as the issue of 468 tourist businesses licenses. The minister also said that authorities were looking into ways to establish Corfu as a home port for cruise travel.