The Germans choose Greece and they raise the country’s expectations to 3.5 million tourists this year, compared with the 12% increase last year and the 3,14 million tourists of 2016. This number derives from the International ITB Tourist Exhibition in Berlin. The news are especially encouraging as the German tourist agency TUI, that facilitates the majority of the German tourists in Greece, speaks of an increase of up to 32% compared to last year, placing the country in the first place of preference for the Germans this year.
According to the German company, the most popular destination this year is the island of Kos with a 62% increase compared with the difficult -due to the refugee crisis- 2015. In the second place we see the Peloponnese with a 53% increase, Rhodes with 40%, Chalkidiki with 34%, Crete with 16% and Corfu with 14%.
TUI has increased its portfolio of the collaborating hotels in Greece to a total of 834 for 2017 compared to last year’s 770 and the 452 of 2015.
The contributing factors for this increase in early bookings is last year’s experience of the Germans that made them book their vacations as early as November 2016 for the summer of 2017. What had happened is that the security issues in other popular destinations, such as Tunisia, Egypt or Turkey made many Germans to turn to safer destinations such as Greece and Cyprus, but the fact that they made this choice relatively late, meant that they lost the good offers of the peak period and they rescheduled their summer leaves for September.
The Greek Minister of Tourism, Mrs. Elena Kountoura met with representatives of the some of the top tour operators, such as TUI and Thomas Cook and she confirmed the above estimates.
The Minister participated on a round table on the subject of “Viable Tourist development in the Local Communities of the Silk Roads” that was organized by the UNWTO.