“Last year, from May 15 to July 15, a total of 660,000 visitors came to Greece, and this year this figure stands at 2.3 million. It’s a considerable increase. Let’s try to keep this pace and increase it,” said the minister.
Holidaymakers from Germany are in the lead with 412,000 arrivals against 126,000 last year, said Zacharaki speaking on ANT1 television, adding that Polish travelers have also given Greece the thumbs-up this year with more than 202,000 making their way to Greek shores.
She added that the US market is also warming up, accounting for 100,000 visitors so far and the UK market, despite restrictions, with 84,000 this year compared to 11,000 in 2020. She described the tourist flows as “encouraging”.
It should be noted that in 2020, incoming arrivals dropped by 78.2 percent to 7,4 million people against 34 million in pre-pandemic 2019.
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the government’s decision to implement lockdown measures on the island of Mykonos, Zacharaki said the increase in Covid cases was not due to tourism but to illicit parties and no adherence to regulations and social distancing measures.
“Data demonstrates that the percentage of coronavirus positive tests found in tourists coming to Greece by air or by road is small,” she said.
Zacharaki concluded that local authorities, shopkeepers, and tourism stakeholders must work hand-in-hand to “win the battle this year”.