“Strengthening connectivity is the key to tourism development”, underlined Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura in the framework of the 33rd Philoxenia International Tourism Fair in Thessaloniki, where she presented the planned unified actions of national and regional tourism policy aimed to create 365 days a year tourism in Greece.
“It is important to give the message that tourism is a powerful driving force for growth,” the Minister said.
Mrs. Kountoura added that the government had secured a rise in the number of inbound flights to Greece through talks and negotiations with airline companies. “In 2017, the total increase is 9% in the planned airline seats for Greece compared to 2016”, she stressed. The Minister continued by informing that the government had persisted and achieved the launch of a direct daily air connection of Dubai – Athens – New York all year round, which was inaugurated in March 2017 as well as the link between Athens and Beijing that began at the end of September.
According to the Tourism Minister, 2017 was a spectacular year with a significant increase:
• In international arrivals, which, based on the ministry’s estimates, will reach 30 million with the inclusion of cruises.
• The occupancy, overnight stays and tourist revenue.
• The additional scheduled airline positions that exceeded 1 million 200 thousand in the eight months.
This large increase in tourism was reflected in a number of other indicators and productive sectors. In 2017 tourism:
“The messages for 2018 are even more positive”, she said, “with a two-digit increase in pre-booking in all key markets as well as in the World Travel Market in London where we participated”. She went on to say that demand for Greece was very strong, while tourism programmes were on the rise.
In 2018, with new destinations being added, new flights being included earlier in the season than ever and for a longer period. start earlier than ever and for longer than the year.
Moreover, according to the ministry, the new digital ecosystem for Greek tourism will soon be ready and operational. This system emphasises the use of new technologies and the application of innovative practices in processes and services to tourism businesses and citizens, the digital upgrading of education, the collection and processing of data on Greek tourism as well as the global promotion and viewing Greece.