After two years of lockdown, tourism in Greece is returning at a staggering rate to pre-Covid levels, outpacing competitors. According to official data, tourism revenues in 2022 will reach 90% of the level of 2019, when the world was not yet covered by the pandemic. At that time, the previously popular Mediterranean destination among Russian holidaymakers received €18 billion in revenues from the tourism sector and 33 million tourists.
According to Greekreporter, citing the Bank of Greece, in April, tourism revenues exceeded the level of pre-Covid April 2019, an increase of almost 100 million euros, while in May the number of travelers arriving from abroad at Greek airports increased by 3.2% compared to May 2019.
The most popular resorts in Greece in 2022
A recent report by ForwardKeys for the World Travel Market revealed that six Greek destinations are in the top ten for travel bookings in Europe for the third quarter of 2022, i.e. July, August and September. According to the report, islands such as Mykonos and Rhodes recorded an increase of 29% compared to the same period in 2019. In the heavenly city of Chania (north-western part of the island of Crete), the growth was 26%, and in Heraklion – 23%. Tourist flow to Santorini, a popular tourist island of volcanic origin, rose by 20%, while in Thessaloniki the increase was 17%.
An example for the European Union
< p>This year, Greece became the only country in Europe that is firmly on track for a full recovery of general and direct flights after the devastating coronavirus pandemic, according to the 2022 Airport Industry Connectivity Report recently released by ACI Europe, the European airports trade association. Thus, passenger traffic at Athens International Airport in June was close to the level of pre-Covid 2019 and amounted to 2.43 million travelers, which is 6.8% less than in June 2019, while in the first six months the tourist flow reached 9.0 million people, which is 20.3 % less than in 2019.
In addition, the data also showed that sunny Greece is preparing to receive about 5,000 cruise ships in 2022. This is 25 percent more than before the coronavirus pandemic. The port of Piraeus alone will host 750 cruise ships this year, including newcomers such as Virgin Cruises and the ultra-luxury Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Of these, 66% will return home from Piraeus, Greece's largest port.
Why is tourism in Greece growing at a staggering rate?
Part of the secret behind Greece's impressive tourism recovery is that the country opened its borders to foreign tourists early after Orthodox Easter on April 24.
In addition, all travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have been lifted . While previously travelers were required to present either a vaccination certificate, a certificate stating that they had recovered from the coronavirus, or a negative test in order to enter or leave the country, no proof of covid status is currently required to enter the country. , and aircraft passengers were not required to wear masks.
Events in Ukraine contributed to the replacement of Russians by tourists from other countries
The Greek tourism sector is unlikely to be affected by the events around Ukraine, since new markets are already crowding out tourists from Russia and Ukraine. This conclusion is presented in a report recently published by the Union of Hellenic Chambers of Commerce in collaboration with Palmos Analysis.
The study was conducted in May in Crete, Northern Greece, the Ionian Islands and the Southern Aegean region, in which 331 owners and managers of the tourism business took part – hoteliers, travel agents, representatives of the food service, car and boat rental, camping. According to the findings, Russian and Ukrainian holidaymakers now make up a small percentage of foreign tourists in Greece, and the shutdown of tourist flows from the two markets has had a limited impact on the viability of the Greek tourism business, analysts say.
By the way, earlier it became known about Russophobia – “Get out: Russian tourists spoke about aggressive Russophobia in popular resorts.”
A record number of tourists from the United States
This in the summer there is a surge in demand for flights from the US to Greece. Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said more than 500,000 travelers are expected to arrive in Greece this tourist season on direct flights alone from America's largest airports – New York, Newark, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Dallas.
Greece currently receives nine direct daily flights from the US, which equates to 63 flights per week. It was noted that American tourists are solvent and fit the tourism product renewal profile that Greece is targeting.
Increasing airfare does not reduce demand
People's desire to travel is so strong that rising airfare prices have done little to dampen demand, data from a ForwardKeys survey showed. For example, the average cost of air travel from the US to Europe rose by more than 35% between January and May, without a noticeable slowdown in bookings. These fares were noted to be nearly 60% higher than the previous year.
The survey suggests that American travelers plan to stay longer and spend more than they did in pre-Covid 2019. The average planned length of stay in the third quarter is 12 days, up from 11 days in 2019.
Promoting Greece as a brand
Greece has managed to protect its image as a safe destination during the pandemic. In particular, during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, the world media and politicians across Europe praised Greece for its response, the publication reported. Even during the COVID-19 lockdown, Greece has been campaigning abroad and working closely with all the major players in the market, including airlines, tour operators, leading international digital platforms, media and digital media, using and enhancing its digital face.< /p>
The 2022 campaign kicked off this winter with ads saying “Greece really does have winter” and “Greekend” It is believed that this action has changed the way Greece is promoted abroad in terms of its tourist image.
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