Greece recorded a 61% increase in bookings in 2017 (January-December) for educational and cultural trips, according to Munich-based tour operator Studiosus, a company specialising in educational and cultural tourism.
Apart from Greece, Croatia and Russia also recorded double-digit rates in 2017, the tour operator said, with Greece gathering 2,200 travellers.
In addition, the Iberian peninsula was particularly popular as it attracted 12,000 visitors, while Spain showed a slight increase and Portugal fell slightly. Italy had a lower demand, with a one-digit reduction rate.
Italy, however, was the most popular destination in absolute numbers, with 13,500 bookings. UK, Iceland, Poland and the Baltic were less popular in 2017. In Iceland, decreased by 7%, but remained at the high level of 2,700 travellers.
Part of this decline is attributable to over-tourism, says tour opera- tors. Reservations in Turkey “froze”. The Middle East, the Arab world and Israel doubled their rates, while Jordan and Egypt showed a small upward trend. Morocco, the UAE and Oman had a 25% increase.
Overall, for 2017, the tour operator recorded revenue growth of 5.3%, 275 million euros compared to 261 million euros in 2016, with the number of traveler it catered for increasing by 4% annually, exceeding the barrier of 100,000 (103,550). There was a noteworthy rise in reservations for products such as smart & small and travel for events.
Finally, Marco Polo tours were in great demand and contributed significantly to the success of the year. Studiosus is expected to publish 14 travel listings from 123 countries around the world.