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Greek Tourism Industry Resilient Despite Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Passengers arriving from New York with Delta Air Lines’ first flight from the US for the 2022 summer season, March 8. Photo source: ANA-MPA/Alexandros Beltes

Greece’s tourism industry is resilient and will deal with the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine war as it did with the Covid-19 crisis, said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.

In an interview to Open TV, Kikilias said Greek society had managed to overcome the pandemic and was ready to face the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war. We will manage again with seriousness to support Greek tourism and send out a message of safety, said Kikilias stressing that the industry was resilient.

“The nine daily direct flights from the US to Greece with over 3,000 American travelers a week through to November is a vote of confidence in our country,” said Kikilias.

Citing ITB Berlin feedback, the minister went on to add that leisure giant TUI was planning to bring starting in April some 3 million German tourists.

“And the Brits and French will follow. Direct flights from Canada start on April 2. Australia reopens,” said Kikilias adding that there was a huge demand by both expatriates and Australians for holidays at Greek destinations. 

Greece is also expecting some 25,000 arrivals from South Korea, and we aim to triple this figure, he said.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias (archive photo).

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias (archive photo).

Referring to the consequences of Russia’s war on Ukraine in terms of buying power, Kikilias said Greece would be taking actions to offset the pressure on currencies.

 “We are fighters, we will not give up the fight and we are making efforts to bring the very last traveler to Greece,” he said.

Confirming that there would be cancelations from Russia and Ukraine, Kikilias said he would be visiting other source markets in the coming period and work on ways to compensate for the lost arrivals and revenues.

Also in this direction, representatives from Greece’s Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies’ (HATTA) joined the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA) to discuss the impact of the Russian-Ukraine conflict on tourism and find ways to compensate for the loss of travelers from Russia and Ukraine.

In the meantime, a recent study by travel intelligence providers ForwardKeys, found Greece to be among the countries that may be impacted by the war but to a lesser extent due to a relatively small dependence on the Russian market.

Kikilias concluded that Greece had made it easier for international travelers to visit by doing away with the PLF form and easing testing requirements for the vaccinated.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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