By Vicky Kourlimbini
FTI, the second largest tour operator in Europe, is making a move indicative of the very high demand for holidays this year and is increasing its portfolio for Greece this summer.
The German travel group based in Munich is putting more beds this summer in four of the most popular Greek destinations and more specifically in Crete, Kos, Corfu and Rhodes, anticipating from now on that these islands will be fully booked. There will also be an increase in the available beds in Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Skiathos.
The tour operator FTI, not only finds high demand for holidays in Greece, but has characterized the country as the “hottest” destination in its program this year, increasing its portfolio for Greece by 20% compared to 2019, which was the record year for Greek tourism.
In fact, last year the FTI had started the holidays in the Greek islands on May 14. About 80 hotels, including the Labranda and Kairaba brands, were open in Crete, Kos, Corfu and Rhodes. The tour operator also had more charter flights to Rhodes, Kos and Corfu, which are among the most popular destinations in the packages it offers.
The FTI plans this year to expand the flight schedule to Greek airports, while it also sees an extension of the tourist season until November.
High demand for packages
The course of bookings is regaining its lost momentum and arrivals seem to be returning to pre-pandemic levels. The German group of TUI has set a goal to transport 3 million tourists to Greek destinations this year from all European markets of origin (mainly from Great Britain, Belgium, France, the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands).
The fame of Greece
At the same time, the overall reputation of Greece and Athens for the first quarter of the year recorded remarkable resilience, a particularly positive development in view of the peak of the tourist season, according to the SETE Institute. The resilience is mainly due to the combination of very positive content for key parameters of the tourist experience (culture, gastronomy, hospitality) and the gradual shrinking of publicity in relation to the pandemic.
The data analyzed by INSETE and concerning Greece, Athens and competing destinations (Italy, Spain, Portugal) reflect the evolution of the image of each destination and the tourist experience in terms of the various components (eg accommodation, catering , sights, etc.).
From the analysis of the data for the period January-March 2022, it seems that the reputation of Athens and Greece in the online conversations was superior to the competitors (Spain, Portugal, Italy), a particularly important element, taking into account the liquidity and uncertainty of the wider environment. due to the course of the pandemic and the rapid geopolitical developments after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.