Greece Aiming to Attract More Chinese Tourists Off Season
As part of ongoing efforts to boost tourist flows from China, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said he had requested that direct flights from the country continue off season.
The issue topped the agenda of talks on Saturday between Kikilias and China Culture and Tourism Minister Hu Heping. Other issues discussed during the meeting included further enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the area of tourism and increasing tourist flows after Covid-19.
Kikilias suggested increasing the number of direct flights to Greece from China during the low season months as part of efforts to extend the tourist season, an idea welcomed by Heping.
The Greek tourism minister also referred to initiatives taken to promote special interest tourism options to Chinese travelers as part of the continuation of the Greece-China Year of Culture and Tourism activities.
Greece was among the first countries to reactivate its connection with China after the country dropped its Covid restrictions earlier this year. The first direct flight from Shanghai arrived in Athens in December 2022 run by the country’s flag carrier Air China.
Speaking during an event in Athens in January, Air China General Manager Fan Heyun said the airline has launched two direct flights from Athens to Beijing and Shanghai. “Definitely we’ll see more Chinese travelers here in Greece and more Greek travelers in China,” he said, describing the launch of the Athens-Shanghai route as a milestone for Air China in the Greek market.
Kikilias and China Ambassador to Greece Xiao Junzheng signed last year a joint action plan for the 2022-2024 period, which foresees among others targeted promotional activities, the development of alternative forms of tourism and increasing tourist flows between the two countries.