Greece is expecting a strong increase in the number of Romanian tourists this year, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias on Wednesday.
The minister is on a two-day official visit to Romania to promote Greece and engage with the country’s travel and tourism business leaders.
“Τhe Romanian market is very important for Greece, both in terms of road tourism and air connections, which have increased significantly and connect – besides Bucharest – many other cities with Athens, Thessaloniki, our islands and mainland destinations,” the minister said in a statement, following meetings with leading Romanian tour operators in Bucharest.
According to data presented to the minister by Romanian tour operators, travelers from Romania this year are showing an interest in more Greek destinations such as Halkidiki, Pieria, the Ionian islands, Evia and Thassos, in addition to their favorites that include Crete, Rhodes and the Aegean islands.
The minister underlined that Romania is a country with strong relations and ties with Greece and Orthodoxy. “Romanians choose Greece for our religious tourism but also for our gastronomy. They like mountains, mountaineering, hiking, as well as renting small sailboats,” he said.
The minister added that Greece opening to travel and lifting the restrictive Covid-19 measures was surely a favorable development for the increase of bookings from Romania.
“I want to highlight that they are coming earlier this year… They have already started road trips (to Northern Greece) and flights are beginning in May and early June,” Kikilias said, adding that Romanian tour operators are keen on cooperating with hoteliers and tour operators in Greece to extend the season with travel packages to Greek destinations in the autumn months.
Greece is connected to Romania through many air connections.
Greek airline company AEGEAN, which has been operating in the Romanian market for more than 15 years, this summer will fly scheduled flights connecting Athens with Bucharest and Cluj.
The Greek airline also has a collaboration with Animawings, the new airline of Christian Tours, which connects the five largest cities of Romania with Zakynthos, Heraklion and Rhodes through scheduled and chartered flights.
Speaking to the Athens News Agency, the general manager of Karpaten Turism and the new Romanian regional airline AirConnect, Alexandru Marginean, informed that routes and destinations in Greece have increased. He added that the increase in airline seat capacity on flights to Greece this year tripled compared to 2019.
AirConnect this season will fly from Timisoara and Bucharest to Kefalonia and also launch connections between smaller cities in Romania and the Greek islands.
“For example, we connect the city of Bacau with Corfu by direct flight, and of course our large base is Bucharest which we connect with various Greek islands with 22 flights per week,” Marginean said.
Moreover, for 2022 Blue Air more than doubled the number of its weekly flights to Greek destinations. The airline this year will fly on 18 routes between Greece and Romania, eleven which are new for the Romanian market.