By Vicky Kourlimbini
One and a half million seats on international flights have been scheduled for the next two weeks by the airlines, a number that shows the great dynamics of Greek tourism and the return of demand after two years of travel restrictions due to the pandemic. According to the data presented in the recovery tracker of the Institute of the Hellenic Tourism Business Association, with data from the travel data measurement company OAG, during the week from May 30 to June 5, 717 thousand air seats have been scheduled, while during the week from 6 by June 12 another 753 thousand seats on incoming international flights, the largest number of scheduled seats to date. According to estimates, airline seats will increase even more as we approach the heart of summer.
The majority of foreign tourists come from Great Britain and Germany. They are followed by France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Both the German and British markets – the two largest in terms of arrivals for Greek tourism – and the US market, which is very important for tourism revenues, show a large increase. As for the airports with the highest traffic, Athens precedes, followed by Heraklion, Rhodes, Thessaloniki, Corfu, Kos, Chania, Santorini, Zakynthos, Mykonos and Kefalonia.
Air and tour operators raise the bar
Data from the largest tour operators abroad show that tourism will reach record levels in 2019 with over 30 million visitors from abroad. In the tourist flows we have already estimated 500,000 travelers with direct flights from the USA, 3 million European tourists from TUI, 40% increase in seats from Air France and Transavia. From 15% to 45% increase in bookings from Easy Jet, Jet2, British Airways and Ryanair. In addition, Greece is the number one destination for France, first in road tourism for Romanians, one in two Serbs who will travel abroad this year choose Greece (900,000 travelers are expected in Greece this year from Serbia), and the flows from Israel. The German Condor is coming to Athens again after 25 years.
The season will last
The inauguration of the new investment of Apollo Travel Group in Lemnos was attended by the Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias. The new investment of Apollo – Scandinavia’s largest tour operator and subsidiary of the DER Touristik group – concerns the operation of a sports hotel, which has already received the approval of the Swedish Olympic Committee for the preparation of its athletes on its premises.
As it was pointed out, the hotel – in the summer months will host tourists and travelers, while the rest of the year the preparation of teams and athletes of Olympic level.
The combination we see here “unites” the sports life, the healthy -Mediterranean- diet, the primary sector, the holidays, the sea and the fun. This is an excellent investment. And we aspire, in the context of the extension of the tourist season, to have teams from all over the world, who will prepare in this beautiful part of our country for twelve months a year “, noted Mr. Kikilias.