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SETE Chief Expects Strong Traveler Flows to Greece from US

Athens Airport

Athens International Airport

US travelers are keen on visiting Greece this summer as more airlines link Athens directly with cities in the United States raising hopes for the Greek tourism industry.

Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos confirmed the sector’s expectations speaking on SKAI radio on Wednesday.

Retsos said he expects booming tourist flows from the US in the coming months, which he attributed to the CDC’s revised guidelines on travel and the far-reaching vaccination rollout in the US in addition to new airline connections with Athens.

SETE President Yiannis Retsos. Photo source: @SETE

“Right now we are talking about nine scheduled flights out five US cities; we didn’t have this degree of connectivity, not even before the pandemic,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Greek tourism ministry announced a number of new direct flights from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark and Washington DC.

Over the weekend, Athens International Airport (AIA) welcomed a full flight from New York operated by Delta Air Lines, the first US airline to touch down in Athens since the outbreak of Covid-19.  

Delta Air Lines’ aircraft arrived on May 29 at Athens International Airport.

Besides US airlines, Emirates also launched on Tuesday its flights connecting New York with Athens for the summer.

Retsos also referred to the British market, one of Greece’s key source markets currently banned from traveling to Greek destinations under the UK’s “green list” system.

Retsos said actions were currently being taken to distinguish areas in Greece that have increased Covid-19 rates and inform UK authorities so that arrivals of British tourists to other parts of Greece are not delayed. At the same time, however, the UK is reporting a rising number of Covid cases prompting pressure on the country’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, to delay opening travel to more destinations.

Lastly, SETE’s chief confirmed that all of the country’s hotels will open by the end of the month and that he expects traveler flows to pick up in July.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.
  1. Noreen+vasilakis Reply

    So, must Americans returning to the US, have a negative covid test to re-enter?

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