GREECE’S tourism minister thanked the UK travel trade for ‘sticking with it’ as a holiday destination through the country’s economic and political problems.
‘The trade has been our best ambassadors,’ said Elena Kountoura (seen below with Go Holiday Sales Executive Dimitri Kardana), speaking at World Travel Market in London. She described #Greece as resilient, following the ‘difficulties’ this year.
Provisional data published by the Bank of Greece shows the country has seen an almost 11% increase in year-on-year arrivals from overseas markets between January and August. In the first eight months of the year, the country received a record number of visitors – 18 million compared to 15.3 million in the same period last year.
From January to August Greece also saw a 25% increase in arrivals from the UK – 1.8 million compared to 1.4 million last year.
Greece’s early indications for bookings for 2016, until September this year, show a year-on-year increase of 4%.
‘Most of the visitors had booked before we saw the trouble earlier this year,’ said Kountoura. ‘Our campaign to increase last-minute bookings worked. We are seeing really strong numbers and are already on about 24-25 million bookings, and we hope to close with more by the end of the year. We are hoping to do even better next year.’
Ms Kountoura said the next marketing campaign would focus on prolonging the season by highlighting the appeal of Greece as a year-round destination; to promote lesser-visited regions and destinations, and to highlight thematic attractions, such as medical and religious tourism.
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