Incoming tourism to Greece from Scandinavian countries increased by 10.64 percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2017, with Crete and the Dodecanese as leading destinations of choice.
The majority of travelers from the Scandinavian market, which includes Denmark, Norway, Sweden, as well as Finland and Iceland, prefers Crete, the Dodecanese (Rhodes, Kos and Karpathos), Epirus (Preveza, Parga and Ioannina) and Corfu.
Speaking to the Athens News Agency, Pavlos Mourmas of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Sweden branch, explained that this was due to direct flights from Scandinavian cities to these Greek destinations as well as to complete package deals on offer.
More specifically, according to Greek airport data, a total of 114,577 travelers from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway visited Greece in the January-June 2018 period. Broken down, 403,933 Swedes, up by 6.5 percent, visited Greek shores with the average visitor in the 55+ age bracket.
Mourmas added that many prefer to visit the Halkidiki peninsula and the island of Thassos, adding that in view of the data, Thessaloniki appears to be gaining ground with a major tour operator already having added Thassos and the Olympus Riviera – a 70km stretch of coastline from the base of Mount Olympus and the Aegean Sea – to its tourism offerings for next year.
This could prove to be of great benefit to Thessaloniki, said Mourmas, adding that the Swedes love the sun and the sea, hiking, cycling and sports.
The head of the GNTO Sweden office went on to note that promotional actions including fam trips to Thessaloniki and Halkidiki were continuing in the following months as part of the tourism ministry’s efforts to extend the tourism season.