Greece’s foreign ministry is moving ahead with the immediate reinforcement of the Greek Embassy’s consular services in India, so as to meet the demand of an increase in visa applications for travel, the Tourism Ministry announced on the weekend.
More specifically, the decision comes after the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist & Travel Agencies (fedHATTA) called for coordinated actions to cover under-staffed consulate services in view of the increased demand for visas this summer.
Referring to India, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said there was optimism and positive feedback concerning traveler interest in Greece.
The Greek tourism ministry is hoping to tap into the Indian market which is ranked first in the world in terms of money spent on holidays. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), expenditure is expected to increase by 122 percent compared to 2019.
Additionally, Indians abroad spend four times more money compared to the average tourist from Japan or China, 140 percent more than British travelers, and 71 percent more than Americans.
Key areas of interest for traveling Indians include luxury, gastronomy, cultural, conference, wedding and film tourism products.
Expanding to the Indian market has been a high ministry priority. Earlier this year during the 8th Session of the Greece-India Joint Economic Committee, the two countries signed a protocol of cooperation. They also agreed to explore the potential of tourism exchange and of direct air connections between Greece and India, following the ratification in February by Greek parliament of the Greece-India air connection agreement signed in 2017.
“India is a huge tourism market with many travelers interested in alternative and theme tourism. In the strategy we have devised and are now implementing, we have invested a great deal in these forms of tourism,” said Kikilias.
The minister went on to add that the benefits are multiple: attracting higher-spending travelers, extending the tourist season, and introducing lesser-known alternative destinations.
“In this way, we are optimistic that we will achieve our goal, which is always to boost the average Greek family in as many areas of the country as possible,” he said.