Greece Expecting Twice as Many US Travelers in 2019
Greece is expecting the number of travelers from the US to Greek destinations to double this year on the back of a 25 percent rise in incoming US tourism in 2018.
According to pre-bookings so far and data collected at last month’s New York Times Travel Show, Greek tourism and travel professionals are expecting a double-digit rise in 2019.
Last year more than 1.2 million travelers from the US chose Greece for their holidays, with the number of direct flights to Athens increasing by more than 10 percent.
Indicatively, according to Bank of Greece data, US travelers have been driving tourism growth in Greece over the last year with October 2018 data showing an 84.8 percent rise in spending by US visitors to 163 million euros.
The tourism ministry through the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) has been pushing ahead with its far-reaching strategy aiming to get a share of new markets, or increase its stake in existing markets.
Indicative of the growing importance of the US market, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) held its Destination Expo in Athens, last spring, where US travel experts reiterated the increasing demand by American travelers for Greece, boosted in large part by year-round direct flights between Athens and New York.
According to ASTA estimates, the US is currently eleventh in terms of tourism arrivals, and fourth in terms of tourism spending, with the association’s vice president, Robert Duglin, expecting the figure to double in the year ahead.
Meanwhile, participating in New York under the GNTO umbrella were the regions of Central Macedonia, South Aegean and Crete, and the municipalities of Hydra and Kavala, as well as a number of tourism and travel businesses.