Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis referred to the country’s leading role in restarting tourism in Europe, and paving the way for safe travel speaking at the recent 6th Delphi Economic Forum.
Theoharis, who participated in a panel discussion with Google General Manager Southeast Europe, Peggy Antonakou, referred to Greece’s opening to tourists, underlining that admission into the country was allowed under conditions aimed at ensuring health, safety, and respect of its visitors and residents.
With regard to bookings, Theoharis said the news was positive, noting that in France, Greece was at the top of travelers’ choices, while airlines in the United States have announced for the first time 10 direct flights to Athens and one which will run in winter too.
The minister said Greece was the number 1 European country in terms of reservations.
Referring to the United Kingdom, Theoharis said interest to travel to Greece is on the up, despite a running travel restriction on Greece. According to the minister, Greece is the third country in terms of bookings made by UK travelers.
Looking ahead, the Greek tourism minister added that the year would be marked by late bookings and stiff competition.
Greece, Theoharis said, was in the spotlight and “at the forefront, thinking ahead”. In this direction, the minister said Greece would be ready to implement the EU’s Covid-19 certificate (Digital Green Certificate) on June 1.
“Our country is showing other countries how tourism can open in safety. Last year, we demonstrated that Covid-19 health protocols can be followed and everyone can be safe in Greece. And we will do the same this year,” Theoharis said.
Rise in interest for Greece
Citing Google data, Antonakou said interest in Greece for April increased by 50 percent and invited tourism professionals to tap into Google’s new tourism support tools.
She announced that Google’s new digital “Travel Insights” platform was running under the auspices of the Greek tourism ministry, adding that a new round of training programs for tourism professionals was also in the pipeline. As of May 18, weekly online lessons are open for free here.
Travel Insights – made up of two main tools: “Destination Insights” and “Hotel Insights” – is aimed at helping tourism professionals leverage travel search data to help the industry recover faster.