Greek airports welcomed a total of 3.4 million arrivals in June breaking the record for the month, said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias this week, adding that Greek tourism was faring well despite the global challenges.
Speaking to Greece’s state broadcaster ERT on Tuesday, the tourism minister noted that arrivals in June 2022 exceeded last year’s 1.198 million and were marginally up compared to June in pre-pandemic 2019 when 3.47 million people visited Greece.
Greek airports were the only ones in Europe together with those in Luxembourg to have fully recovered their pre-Covid 2019 passenger traffic volumes in June, according to the European airport trade body ACI Europe.
Kikilias confirmed that despite the multiple global crises impacting Greece, tourist flows and travel revenues were on track, which he said was the result of hard work, a far-reaching ministry strategy and close cooperation with the private sector. He added that initiatives had also been taken to “replace” incoming tourism from Russia and Ukraine with more visitors from Balkan countries. Greece, he said, is the Number 1 destination of choice for the Serbs and Romanians.
He reiterated that the top priority for Greece this year is to extend the tourist season and shed light on lesser-known destinations as well as increasing traveler spending, which he said would be at the forefront of all ministry actions.
He said he was in cooperation with relevant ministries and stakeholders to extend the season into December and focus on attracting Northern Europeans to Greece in the winter by promoting the warmer weather.
According to Kikilias, areas seeing increased tourist flows include Central and Western Macedonia as well as Thessaloniki, where cruise activity is up by 280 percent.
Lastly, the minister referred to his visit this week to the Acropolis, which welcomes more than 16,000 tourists a day. “The ultimate comeback this season is happening in Athens and Attica,” he said.