Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Sunday said that the government expects Greece to have a very good tourism year in 2022, following the satisfying arrival and revenue turnout this season.
Speaking to the press during the 85th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), the Greek PM said that this season’s good tourism performance is continuing in September while positive signs are also appearing for October.
“We are winning this year’s bet we made for tourism because we had a plan and prepared very methodically,” Mitsotakis said, referring to Greece being the country to first put forward the idea of the EU Digital COVID Certificate (and among the first to launch it) for travel; having clear health protocols; and opening safely to welcome tourists.
The PM said that in many parts of the country, tourism numbers in August were better than they were for the same month in 2019.
“I am not yet in the position to talk about the revenue gained (this year) but I believe, however, that we will exceed the budget targets we had set for the tourism season,” he highlighted.
According to the PM, Greece during the pandemic saw more revenue without necessarily having the same increase in visitors.
“This is important. We should not measure the success of a tourism season only by arrival numbers but by how much money our visitors have spent in our country,” he said.
New bill to be tabled in parliament
Referring to future actions for the sector, Mitsotakis said that Greece’s new tourism leadership will follow the plan set out by the previous minister.
He then announced that a new bill prepared by the previous leadership and which solves a number of issues related to the tourism sector, will soon be tabled in parliament.
“We are looking forward to a very good year in 2022,” he said and underlined that Greece must invest much more in extending the season to attract visitors year round.
“We have already taken some first steps, but we need to strengthen winter tourism further; tourism that is purely linked to cultural visits; and take advantage of the country’s beauty all 12 months a year,” he said.
Mitsotakis said that extending the tourism season is important as right now a large part of the visitors gather in Greece only in August. He stressed that the core of the Greek tourism product must be protected.
“This puts a lot of pressure, especially on the more vulnerable destinations such as our islands,” the Greek PM said.