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Greece Expects Tourists to Spend More this Year

Greece is ready for a strong year ahead, said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias this week, citing encouraging feedback from travel and tourism operators worldwide that is in line with forecasts made earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Kikilias confirmed that demand for Greece was gaining momentum based on available data for 2022, with prebooking levels in January up by 30 percent over the same month in pre-pandemic 2019.

Kikilias went on to tell ANT1 TV on Thursday that traveler spending was also expected to rise. “Europeans will be spending 39 percent more this year on tourism products,” he said, adding that Greece was among the top three destinations globally for travelers from Northern Europe through hospitality giant Accor.

“Crete and Rhodes are among the five leading travel destinations in the world  for 2022 based on booking.com. And at the same time, we’re seeing a 22 percent increase in bookings over January from the UK market up by 28 percent over pre-pandemic 2019,” he said.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias with US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt. The minister discussed the resumption of direct American carrier flights to Greece next month.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias with US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt. The minister discussed the resumption of direct American carrier flights to Greece next month.

“We are opening on March 1 with a rise in the number of travelers from Nordic countries and France, with 14 direct flights a week from the US starting on March 7… and starting on April 2, we will see the first direct flight from Canada to Athens,” said Kikilias.

Greece has managed to instill a sense of safety in travelers thanks to its effective management of the Covid-19 crisis and this has added value and credibility to Greece’s brand name, said Kikilias.

Lastly, the minister said the state-funded social tourism programs would continue in 2022 offering discounts on holidays for eligible Greek recipients.

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