Greece Expecting More Than 1 Million Visitors in First Week of August
Greece is expecting more than one million visitors in the first week of August reflecting a strong rebound of the tourism sector, said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias this week, adding that incoming traveler traffic is expected through to the end of the year.
In an interview to local media, Kikilias said the tourism industry was a key driver of the economy citing an increase in May revenues at hotels and F&B establishments over May 2019. Indicatively, Kikilias said turnover at accommodation facilities in May was up by 26 million euros compared to pre-pandemic 2019. Additionally, the minister also referred to increasing incoming international flight figures which in July exceeded 950,000 per week, adding that in the first week of August, some 1 million tourists are expected to go through Greek airports.
“These figures reflect in practice that tourism revenues flow directly into the real economy,” he said.
Top destinations for the coming weeks, according to Kikilias, are Athens, Thessaloniki, the South Aegean islands, the Cyclades, Crete and Corfu. Demand for lesser-known destinations is also strong, he said, adding that “brand Greece” is gaining significant ground.
The minister went on to highlight the importance of extending the tourism season, which is a top priority and which is being achieved through negotiations with tour operators and airlines for services into December.
Lastly, he reiterated his call to Northern Europeans to visit Greece off season citing the beautiful weather, quality services, and top-notch accommodation options.
Extending the tourist season offers significant added value as it generates revenue for local communities while supporting businesses and employees in the tourism industry. “Our aim is to subsidize jobs so that workers – especially seasonal workers – can remain in their jobs,” said Kikilias.
The elephant in the room is the Bus Services which were inadequate in May/June especially on Naxos so we can only hope they will improve for Set/Oct