Following its participation in this year’s ITB Berlin in Germany, one of the world’s leading travel trade shows, Greece once again is expecting its tourism numbers to see a rise from the German market. ITB Berlin 2019 took place between March 6-10.
And although, throughout the days of the exhibition, conversations focused on the – so far – sluggish German outbound bookings to all markets, the country’s tourism professionals underlined that vacations in the Mediterranean are once again the most sought after for the Germans traveling abroad this year.
More than 4.4 million visitors from Germany chose Greece for their holidays in 2018, with the country becoming the second most popular European destination for German tourists. During the last two years Greece saw an 18 percent increase in arrivals from the country.
Speaking during ITB Berlin 2019, the president of the German Travel Association (DRV), Norbert Fiebig, said that once again Greece was among the three top destinations being booked by the Germans for their summer holidays, along with Spain and Turkey.
In his meeting with Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura during the exhibition, Fiebig referred to the positive pace of German bookings to Greece this year, which, he said, are expected to see a further increase of 3 percent according to figures so far.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the Greek Tourism Ministry said that representatives of the German tourism market have assured that while neighboring countries of the Mediterranean (such as Turkey) have fully recovered in terms of tourism, and although other popular European destinations are showing declining trends, the demand for holidays in Greece remains strong and the country is expected to be among the most popular destinations for German travelers this year.
GNTO reports positive signs for 2019
According to the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) office in Germany, tour operators in Germany are optimistic and report that the Germans’ desire for travel is not expected to decrease in the near future.
Data from a January 2019 survey revealed that one in two Germans will take at least one long trip. Only 17 percent replied that they do not intend to travel. The remaining percentage is currently undecided. According to the survey, the growth of the German tourism industry is shown to be driven by the steadily strong and growing demand for Spain and Greece and the strong comeback of Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia.
Citing data from leading German tour operators and given that the majority of bookings for 2019 are made in the first quarter of the year, the GNTO underlined that the data for Greece, which reflects the upward trend of the previous years, is satisfactory.
Speaking to GTP Headlines, the director of the GNTO office in Germany, Vicky Stroumpou, said that last year’s “explosive” increase of German bookings to Greece, which had exceeded expectations, is not expected in 2019. “An increase in German arrivals is expected but not at the percentage of last year,” she said.
Meanwhile, the heads of SETE, Greece’s umbrella body of private tourism enterprises, and the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, told GTP Headlines that they see 2019 as a year of stabilization for the country’s tourism sector in general.
Greece makes ITB Berlin appearance with bigger stand, more exhibitors
This year at ITB Berlin, Greece made its appearance with a bigger stand – covering 870 square meters of exhibition space and and hosted some 85 exhibitors. According to the Greek Tourism Ministry, Greece’s stand was its biggest to date at the German exhibition.
Highlights at the Greek stand this year was the presentation of the Greek Breakfast initiative by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and the screening of Greece’s new tourism promotional campaign “Oh My Greece | Unlock the Feeling”, launched by Marketing Greece.
Another highlight was when Minister Kountoura received four awards for Greece and her efforts in the country’s tourism sector.
Moments @ ITB Berlin 2019
ITB Berlin 2020 will take place during March 4 – 8.