April Tourism Kicks Off for Rhodes With Full Flights
In the first 10 days of April, the Greek island of Rhodes has welcomed 221 international flights at nearly full occupancy setting the pace for the summer season ahead, said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.
In an interview to local media, Kikilias confirmed that most destinations in Greece were almost at full capacity due to Greek Easter and that the early launch of the season was paying off with more off-season arrivals than ever before.
“From the 1st to the 10th of April, we’ve had 221 international flights to Rhodes with over 96 percent occupancy, while in Athens tourism did not stop at all. Health care stores, hotels and short-term rentals are full,” said Kikilias.
The numbers are in the positive, said South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos after his meeting with Kikilias in Athens this week. “We are constantly reviewing the course of the tourism economy and of the plans to be implemented,” he said adding that the tourism industry has remained resilient in periods of crisis supporting the Greek economy.
“The tourist season started in the beginning of March. The first flight came to Rhodes on March 11, early March to Crete, there is a 20 percent increase in cruises since January. The first direct flight from the US, 10 direct flights from Canada, five are now in April. China and Australia opened up which were closed markets for us,” Kikilias said.
The minister added that Greece was a leading holiday choice for many Europeans and that the ministry had reached out to “new markets in the Middle East, to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Our bet is now also India”.
Among others, Kikilias referred to the new “Shopping in Greece” campaign aimed at strengthening the connection between trade and tourism, as is common practice in other European cities such as Paris, Milan and Rome.
The minister went on to underline the importance of sustainable practices for tourism. Terms and conditions for new tourism infrastructure, he said, should be included in policies from now on which cover waste and water management, parking areas, and reusable sources of energy.