Greek tourism sees strong start pointing to promising 2023
Greece is welcoming increasing numbers of direct flights this spring from long-haul markets, like the U.S. and Canada, underscoring the country’s successful evolution into a year-round tourism destination and pointing to a potential record setting year.
Since January, major international carriers – such as Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Emirates – have scheduled some 56 direct flights from various U.S. destinations, with more expected to be added in coming months.
Flights from other parts of Europe, like major source markets the UK and Germany, have also started coming to Greece from last month and with notable visitor increases during the recent Easter holidays. Combined with strong pre-bookings, early data suggest that Greece’s tourism revenues this year could surpass record pre-pandemic levels of €18.2 billion set in 2019.
At the same time, Greece has been moving to expand its tourism product with new services, new products and new destinations.
“Our 12 month campaigns run by the Greek National Tourism Organisation, the promotion of alternative destinations, the highlighting of thematic tourism products, the boosting of city breaks and agreements with airlines for direct flights in the off-season, have all led to the extension of the tourist season,” said Tourism Minister Vasilis Kikilias.
Indicative of the country’s growing tourism appeal is the increase in cruise ships docking at the country’s ports. Coastal and marine tourism is playing a growing role both in global hospitality trends and in Greece too.
Industry data shows that the country will receive more than €1.1 billion this year from increasing home porting activities and the addition of new port of call destinations. Just in Piraeus, Greece’s largest port, passenger numbers are expected to exceed one million passengers in 2023.