Data for holidays in Greece from airlines, hotels and tour operators are right now showing a significant increase in bookings for the summer of 2022, according to Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.
In a recent interview to Greek newspaper Paraskinio, the minister said that there is optimism that “tourism will play a leading role” this year.
“Indicatively, in October 2021 we had 30 percent more bookings for the summer of 2022 than we had in October 2018 for the summer of 2019, before Covid,” he stated.
Referring to the focus of Greece’s tourism strategy this year, the minister noted that a priority is to strengthen relations with traditional markets that responded to the country’s message of health safety in the last two years.
He added that another strategic goal is to attract more upscale tourists to Greece.
“This goal is reflected on the per capita expenditure of visitors, rather than their number of arrivals,” the minister said.
Referring to the ministry’s efforts to extend Greece’s tourism season, Kikilias said the aim is to increase both travel receipts and the number of visitors, as well as attract tourists to all regions of the country during all seasons.
He added that key to extending the tourism season is promoting thematic tourism products and referred to the national action plans for 33 destinations proposed by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE).
“The promotion of thematic tourism products is our guide in this direction. I am referring to sports tourism, wine tourism, mountain tourism and adventure tourism,” he said.
Kikilias also touched on Greece’s efforts to move towards a more sustainable tourism model.
“This takes into account a number of factors related to environmental protection, the promotion of authenticity, the connection with the primary sector and the enhancement of the visitor experience,” the minister said.
Focusing on the aim for a more sustainable tourism model, Kikilias said that following actions that already started on smaller islands – Halki and Astypalea – Greece is now moving towards emblematic destinations, such as Rhodes with the launch of “The Rhodes Co-Lab” initiative launched by TUI and the South Aegean Region.
The minister reminded that Greece will utilize Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) funds reaching 320,000,000 euros to achieve progress towards a more sustainable tourism model.
When asked if Covid restrictions will soon be lifted in Greece, the minister said we must listen to the experts.
“Regardless of whether we are heading towards the end of the pandemic, it is important that we respectfully observe the hygiene and protection measures and make use of the gift of medicine, which is the vaccine”, he added.