Greek Tourism Minister, Vassilis Kikilia, announced that 2 million euros have been allocated for tourism in Evia, the country’s second largest island, where tourism has been successful throughout the summer season, and the industry is expected to reach 12 euros. billion dollars this year. He also noted that there is an average cost increase of 20 percent in the costs of each visitor in the country.
Minister Kikilia made the remarks during an interview on ERT, Greece’s national radio, where he also admitted that the government had “struggled very hard” to keep flights from the US open as earlier this month the European Union recommended stricter restrictions on US arrivals due to the coronavirus situation. Corona.
We fought hard to keep flights from America open until the end of the tourist season. Minister Kikilia said: “We are talking about eight flights from American companies and one from Emirates Airlines, which gave a great added value to Athens, Attica and throughout the country,” noting that the flights will continue until the end of the season.
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Moreover, the minister revealed that the main objective of the government is to provide quality jobs, which can happen by maintaining high levels of hospitality for tourists throughout October and possibly from the beginning of November, TheSchengen.com reports.
He also noted that the government is working to protect the popular destinations on the islands from excessive tourism and is trying to spread the industry throughout Greece, as it is the main contributor to the country’s prosperity. According to Kikilia, one in four euros of the country’s GDP comes directly or indirectly from tourism.
On the other hand, Greece was considered the “tourism champion” for 2021, as the country received more than six million tourists since the beginning of the year and even surpassed Spain, the country’s long-time rival in the European tourism scale.
“In fact, in July, for the first time, our country overtook France itself as the preferred destination for the French. That is, the French traveled to Greece more than they did to their own country. This is a very important development,” said Harry Theocharis, former Minister of Tourism of Greece.
The country recorded a 146.8 percent increase in air traffic during the first half of 2021, with the total number of passengers reaching 12.6 million. In 2020, when closures and entry restrictions were imposed, Greek airports counted about 8.9 million passengers.
The summer season in Greece was also successful due to relaxed entry restrictions and the country’s approach to welcoming as many tourists as possible by approving the largest number of vaccinations in the world.
Moreover, Greece refused to impose stricter measures on American arrivals besides Croatia. The latter said that the EU recommendation is optional and that the country’s choice is not to follow it.
On the other hand, Greece announced that it will tighten entry rules for Americans but likely after the summer season.