The Minister of Tourism, Vassilis Kikilias, referred to the optimistic first messages from the tourism fund, which record a 20% increase in travel receipts in April, compared to the same month of 2019, in an interview he gave to the “Realnews” newspaper.
As the Minister of Tourism underlined, according to the data of the Bank of Greece, in April this year tourism revenues are above the levels of April 2019, marking an increase of almost 100 million euros, while also in May passenger arrivals from abroad at the airports of our country recorded an increase of 3.2%, compared to May 2019. Greek family. And let’s not forget that this is happening, without the tourist market of China and of course Russia and Ukraine. We worked for all of this early on, so that we would be ready. And being ready is half the battle,” emphasized Mr. Kikilias.
The Minister of Tourism focused on the strategic agreements with the most important tourist markets abroad, such as the USA, as well as on the initiatives undertaken to extend the tourist season. “As you know, this year’s tourist season started earlier, while we already have large tourist agencies – such as TUI – closing planes and hotels for after October. This great effort is also reflected in the fact that tourism in Athens has returned, with tourists to flood the capital, which strengthens not only the hotels, but also the commercial world and the shops of health interest. We believed in the cruise, when others discredited it, and the results justify us. We have lit up every corner of Greece, as – together with EOT – we campaign all year round and personally I have visited and promoted our unpopular destinations abroad,” he noted among other things.
Regarding the issue that has arisen with the “Turkaegean” tourism campaign, the Minister of Tourism spoke of another bad taste invention from the Turkish side, which – as he said – is part of the wider framework of instrumentalization that Ankara is attempting with all issues. “Our country will submit a cancellation request,” repeated Mr. Kikilias, adding: “I had highlighted the issue from the beginning, noting that the propaganda campaign of “Turkaegean” – with its anecdotal claims – is the result of excessive imagination. For that matter, I was attacked by anonymous Turkish internet users. If, now, some people think that they are simultaneously trying to “cheat” the tourist markets, it is clear that Greece’s tourism product is unique.
Finally, the Minister of Tourism referred to the new structure of the “Tourism for All” program, amounting to 30 million euros. As he underlined, the electronic platform opens in the next few days, while the subsidy is increased to 150 euros for each beneficiary and redemption is done easily, immediately and simply with a digital prepaid card, until June 2023. “For the first time, this year , through our three programs – Tourism for All, Social Tourism and the special pass for northern Evia and Samos – we have 70 million euros available to support domestic tourism, the average Greek family and industry professionals. Why – not I will get tired of repeating it – the dividend of success from our tourism product must reach the pocket of every Greek who is struggling at this time”, concluded Mr Kikilias.