Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said he would propose to the Covid-19 committee easing protocols for the organization of conferences and events in an effort to rekindle MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) activity.
“I will ask the committee of experts to decide where we can relax protocols so that Greece can lead the way in the resumption of conference tourism,” he said speaking to local media over the weekend.
2022 will be a positive year
The Greek tourism minister expressed his confidence that 2022 would be a positive year able to alleviate rising energy costs. Among others he referred to the 300 percent increase in cruise figures for Northern Greece, which is expecting more that 760 cruises this year, half of which will home port at Thessaloniki, Piraeus, and Heraklion, Crete.
Kikilias said that the Turkish ports of Galata, Kusadasi, and Bodrum, had reopened allowing cruises to operate their routes in the region.
He also referred to major international tour operators and airline companies which have said they will increase capacity by 50 percent for 2022 as well as airport slots.
Kikilias went on to add that based on prebooking figures so far, Greece will have to be ready to welcome tourists earlier this year, on March 1, because “summer this year will start in spring”, he said.
The minister confirmed that actions were being taken to establish Greece as a year-round destination. Key to the extension of the tourism season is strengthening cruise tourism and city break destinations as well as mountain and winter tourism, which he said will be the “next big bet” for 2022.
In this direction, Kikilias said the ministry strategy through to 2030 focused on lesser-known locations as well as on alternative forms of tourism such as wine, sports, diving, wellness, gastronomy and adventure.