Americans keen on traveling to Greek destinations this summer can now do so on 63 direct flights from the US to Greece a week, said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias highlighting the increased demand.
“Tourism is, and rightly so, the country’s great economic power,” said Kikilias, adding that the ministry expects significant tourism revenues in 2022.
A key source market Greece is counting on this year is the US which is being serviced with nine direct flights a day or 63 a week, while talks are underway to introduce direct flights to Thessaloniki at some point in time, he said.
Kikilias reiterated the ministry’s tourism strategy which focuses on extending the tourism season, introducing new destinations, and diversifying the products on offer. In this direction, Greece launched the tourism season earlier this year and aims to keep it running for a longer period of time.
The goal, said Kikilias, is to generate revenues for all of the country’s regions and to boost the national economy.
In numbers, the minister said road tourism through Northern Greece was up by 180 percent and cruise arrivals to the port of Piraeus up 130 percent. Travel receipts for Athens over the January-February period increased by 306 percent to 273 million euros compared to the corresponding period in 2021, and that Greek destinations during the Easter and May Day holidays were fully booked.
At the same time, Greece is a top choice for travelers in France, the UK, Scandinavian countries and Australia, he said.
“We expect strong flows after two years from Australia as well. We also have two direct flights from Canada, and Israel is proving to be an important partner – beyond security, know-how, digitization and defense – in tourism sector also,” he said.
In the meantime, Greece is expecting some 1.5 million travelers from Romania, mainly by road to Northern Greece destinations, including Thassos, Kavala, Pieria and Halkidiki.
“This week, I will be in Serbia, continuing the ministry’s door-to-door strategy to fill any gaps created from the admittedly small percentage of Russian visitors we expected in Northern Greece,” [before the Russia-Ukraine war], he said.