From next month, Greece will officially open its doors to international tourists, with the Minister of Tourism, Vassilis Kikilias, saying that the tourist season of the Greek Republic will start on the first of March.
Despite the rapid spread of the coronavirus and its new strains, especially the Omicron variant, Greece has managed to welcome a large number of international travelers, TheSchengen.com reports.
In this regard, Kikilias said that the way the country dealt with the coronavirus situation was very important.
“The way we dealt with the epidemic was so important that while all the other Mediterranean countries were closed in 2020, we opened our doors. And last year, when everyone thought tourism revenue would be between 5-6 billion euros, it reached From 10.5 to 11 billion euros, the minister noted a significant contribution to the Greek economy and trade.
Recently, Kikilias stressed that the Ministry of Tourism and tourism professionals are trying to reach pre-pandemic levels during this year.
The Greek Tourism Minister said that instead of mid-April, the tourist season will start on March 1.
“I see that the first cruise ship has already gone to Thessaloniki and Volos as well. We will have 765 cruises, 55 percent of which will have a major port in Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, the Greek islands,” the minister noted.
In addition, tour operators, as well as airlines, are urging a 30 percent to 50 percent increase in seats, travel reservations and travel slots for this year, which are very encouraging numbers, according to the authorities in the Greek republic.
“I brought 1.5 million passengers last year, and I want to bring 3 million this year,” noted the CEO of TUI, a German travel and tourism company, during his visit to Rhodes.
According to research by the Greek Tourism Consortium (SETE), tourists from Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States were the biggest spenders in Greece, in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.
The report published by SETE confirmed that tourists from Germany generated around 3 billion euros in revenue in 2019, or a total of 16.7 percent of the total tourism revenue.
According to the Greek authorities, one in four euros in the country’s economy comes indirectly or directly from tourism and the average Greek household is in small and medium businesses.