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Kikilias: Greece’s Tourist Arrivals, Revenues are Showing an ‘Excellent’ Year

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Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias on Tuesday confirmed that Greece’s international tourist arrivals and tourism earnings this year, so far, are on the up.

“It is confirmed that 2022, so far, is an excellent year,” the minister said in an interview to Real FM.

According to Kikilias, tourism numbers have increased in many areas of the country even compared to 2019.

He did, however, point out that the multiple problems caused by the energy crisis, inflation, the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic remain. He underlined that Greece’s tourism performance will be clear at the end of 2022.

Referring to source markets, Kikilias highlighted the 50 percent increase of arrivals from the United States compared to 2019.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.

“This is a result of the strong Greek-US relations, which the prime minister sealed with his trip to Washington, but also of a specific strategy concerning the agreement made with American carriers for 63 direct flights per week from the US to Athens Airport,” the tourism minister said.

Moreover, Kikilias said that the large number of American visitors as well as the arrivals from Romania and Serbia have covered the gap of Greece’s losses from Russia, Ukraine and China, which remains closed due to Covid-19 related restrictions.

Wanting to give an example of Greece’s popularity, the minister said that occupancy on the island of Thassos right now is near 100 percent and “full of Romanian travelers”.

Kikilias also said that tourism in Attica (including the city of Athens) has recovered and underlined the region’s important contribution to Greece’s GDP.

“The image of the Athenian Riviera, with the investments that are in progress, but also of the city center, with all the hotels and shops full of visitors, is indeed impressive,” he said.

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