Holiday bookings for summer 2022 for travel to Greece are already on the rise, according to Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.
Speaking on Open TV on Sunday, Kikilias reported a 30 percent increase in early bookings made in October for the summer of 2022, compared to those made the same month in 2018 for the summer of 2019.
Having recently returned from the World Travel Market expo in London, the Greek tourism minister listed the recent deals made with airline companies for flights to Greece next year:
Budget airline easyJet announced the addition of 500,000 air passenger seats to departures from the UK to Greek destinations. This brings the airline’s offer to Greece to 1.6 million passenger seats next year, up from 1.1 million in 2019. easyJet left open the possibility of adding another 400,000 passenger seats to Greece and also expressed interest in operating a base either from Heraklion (Crete) or from Corfu.
UK leisure travel group Jet2 (Jet2.com & Jet2holidays) said it will boost the number of airline seats to Greece by 600,000 (adding up to a total of 1.44 million) in 2022 on flights out of 10 UK airports to 15 Greek airports. The company will begin its 2022 schedule for Greece in April and also operate flights and city breaks to Athens for the first time (from April 15) via two flights per week from Birmingham and Manchester. In total, the company will operate 270 flights a week to Greek destinations.
- British Airways
British Airways, the UK’s flag carrier airline, announced plans to launch 64 flights to Greece from Gatwick from December, in addition to its flights from London Heathrow.
Moreover, Air France and Transavia will also add more flights to Greece in 2022, as a result of agreements made with the Greek Tourism Ministry during the IFTM Top Resa exhibition in Paris last month.
Minister: ‘We want to be leaders in tourism’
“We want to be leaders in tourism. We are aiming to be champions. We do not want one of the best scores but we want the best. This can be achieved with great effort and hard work,” Kikilias said, adding that the Greek Tourism Ministry and professionals are – directly or indirectly – responsible for the 25 percent of the GDP of the Greek economy.
Referring to Greece’s tourism performance this year, Kikilias said that 2021 earnings exceeded estimates.
“This year’s forecast for tourism revenue was 5-6 billion euros and at the moment it has exceeded 10 billion euros and I think we are heading to 12 billion euros,” he said.
The official tourism season for Greece is expected to launch early in 2022, between mid-March and April 1.