Greece to open tourist season on March 1
Starting from next month, Greece will officially open its doors to international tourists, as the Minister of Tourism, Vassilis Kikilias, has said that the Hellenic Republic’s tourist season will start on March 1.
Despite the rapid spread of the Coronavirus and its new strains, especially the Omicron variant, Greece managed to welcome a large number of international travellers, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In this regard, Kikilias said that the way the country handled the Coronavirus situation was very important.
“The way we handled the pandemic was so important that while all the other Mediterranean countries were closed in 2020, we opened up. And last year, when everyone believed that revenues from Tourism would be 5-6 billion euros, they reached 10.5 to 11 billion euros. A huge contribution to the Greek economy and trade,” the Minister pointed out.
Recently, Kikilias stressed that the Tourism Ministry and the tourism sector’s professionals are attempting to reach pre-pandemic levels during this year.
Greece’s Tourism Minister said that instead of mid-April, the tourist season would start on March 1. “I see that the first cruise ship has already gone to Thessaloniki and to Volos as well. We will have 765 cruises, 55 per cent of which will have a home port in Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, the Greek islands,” the Minister pointed out.
In addition, tour operators, as well as airlines, are urging for a 30 per cent to 50 per cent increase in seats, travel bookings, and slots for this year, which figures, according to authorities in the Hellenic Republic, are very encouraging.
“I brought 1.5 million travellers last year, I want to bring 3 million this year,” the CEO of TUI, which is a German travel and tourism company, pointed out during his visit to Rhodes.
According to research conducted by Greece Tourism Confederation (SETE), tourists from Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States accounted for top spenders in Greece, in 2019, before the Coronavirus pandemic.
The report published by SETE stressed that tourists from Germany generated about 3 billion euros in revenues in 2019 or a total of 16.7 per cent of total tourism revenues.
According to Greek authorities, one in four euros in the country’s economy comes indirectly or directly from tourism and reaches the average Greek family in the small and medium business. (Source: Schengen Visa Info)