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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Vassilis Kikilias: Every extra euro from tourism is additional support for the Greeks

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After the establishment of nine direct flights, daily, from the USA to Greece that brought more than 500,000 travelers from America to our country this season.

Regarding the agreements reached within the framework of the strategy for the extension of the tourist season in the autumn and winter months in our country, as well as the preparation for the next season, the Minister of Tourism spoke, Vassilis Kikilias, in an interview he granted to the newspaper “Paraskinio”, one day after the completion of the first cycle of his tour in central and northern Europe.

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“The first messages are particularly positive, both from Berlin and Vienna, as well as from Paris and Stockholm, where I had a series of contacts with my counterparts, heads of major airlines and the most important travel operators. The travel packages for Greece are almost fully booked until October, while the interest is strong for the winter as well, with many airlines having already extended their itineraries to our country for the coming months as well.” noted features.

The Minister of Tourism also commented on the particularly encouraging messages from the other side of the Atlantic. As he said, after the establishment of the nine direct flights, daily, from the USA to Greece that brought more than 500,000 travelers from America to our country this season – not counting those who came to Greece via transit flights – the three major US airlines have already extended their routes for the coming months as well. In fact, Mr. Kikilias referred to the example of Delta, which will keep the direct Athens-New York line “open” until January 10 (instead of the end of October, as it had originally planned), thus transforming its activity in Greece, essentially, in ten months.

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“Our main goal remains tourism in different parts of the country, twelve months a year. And in this context, the new program is moving co-advertisement of the EOT with tour operators and airlines announced by the Prime Minister at the TIF and we will specify in the coming weeks”, underlined the Minister of Tourism.

As Mr. Kikilias pointed out, eight out of ten investments in Greece, at the moment, are touristic, which proves the development dynamics, but also the added value of the tourism product in the Greek economy.

Referring to the ambitious project to attract Northern Europeans – mainly pensioners – who will want to travel to Greece, in order to enjoy the “Mediterranean” winter in our country, the Minister of Tourism pointed out that only in our top three tourist destinations – Crete, Rhodes and Kos – can be made available during the winter months, in total, over 14,000 beds in larger or smaller accommodations and hotels, which means – as he said – increased income for the local economy and the Greeks.

“Every new traveler who comes and visits our country means more revenue. And every extra euro that is added to the income from tourism translates into additional fiscal space and a possibility for additional support to Greek citizens and Greek households, especially in such a critical period”, noted Mr. Kikilias.

Asked to comment on the exceptional performance of this year’s tourist season, the Minister of Tourism stated that the messages are very encouraging: 13.26 million tourists in the first seven months, while in July alone tourism revenues reached 3.7 billion euros, surpassing July 2019 revenue.

“All this is the result of methodical preparation at the right time and continuous cooperation both with the international actors of the tourism sector and with the people of Greek tourism. Because nothing would be possible without our people: EOT, SETE, our hoteliers, professionals and industry workers. And this year’s success in tourism is the success of all Greeks”, noted Mr. Kikilias.

RES-EMP

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