Kalamata Airport has managed over the last eight years to quadruple tourist traffic to the Peloponnese, said the region’s governor Petros Tatoulis this week during the 8th Tourism School event in Kalamata.
Addressing some 1,200 tourism students, Tatoulis underlined the significant role of the airport in boosting tourism to the region.
“In 2011, when I took office, the international airport of Kalamata handled 64,653 passengers, in 2017 the figure reached 279,808,” said Tatoulis, attributing the increase to the regional authority’s agreements with airlines now linking the central Peloponnese town of Kalamata with 30 European destinations, including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Birmingham, Munich, Dusseldorf, Stockholm, Paris, Vienna, London, Tel Aviv, Prague, Lille, Moscow, Manchester, Copenhagen, Lyon, Stuttgart, Bristol, Bucharest, Hannover, Brussels Zurich and Innsbruck.
In view of declining domestic tourism – down by 70 percent – which Tatoulis said accounted for a large part of the tourist activity to the Peloponnese – the regional authority explored ways of attracting international tourism, boosting source markets such as Italy, the UK, Germany, France and the Scandinavian countries, as well as Russia.
According to Tatoulis, in the first nine months of 2018, inbound traffic through Kalamata Airport came to 117,298 compared to 112,324 a year ago.
Incoming traffic through Kalamata Airport increased in 2017 to 276,725 passengers against 227,980 in 2016, and 3,319 flights against 2,684. At the same time, incoming tourist flows stimulated Messinia hotel capacity which was up to 38.2 percent in 2017 compared to 32.4 percent in 2011.
The number of overnight stays in 2017 came to 836,676 against 555,159 in 2011, while bed capacity in Messinia grew from 9,440 in 2011 to 10,261 in 2017.
Meanwhile, last week, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis announced that the airport of Kalamata would be next in line for upgrade works with the government set to issue a call for tenders in the immediate future.