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Tourism Min.: The goal is to further extend the tourist season

Featured Tourism Min.: The goal is to further extend the tourist season

"It is obvious that Greece has exceeded all expectations in terms of its tourism product for 2022. The country is the ultimate summer destination - and not only - for every traveler as it offers unique experiences to those who visit it." This is emphasized, among others, by the Minister of Tourism, Vassilis Kikilias, who pointed out that despite the great adversities caused by the war in Europe, the energy crisis, inflation, high prices, the pandemic, Greek-Turkish relations, etc., Greece has survived.

Mr. Kikilias indicatively cited the increase in travel revenue in June 2022 compared to the trouble-free 2019, the arrivals at Greek airports which increased by 12% compared to the pre-pandemic period, the beyond all expectations course of tourism on the islands of the SE Aegean where in the first week of August arrivals increased by 17% compared to 2019, the 5,000 cruise ship arrivals as well as the record for direct flights from the USA.

National effort

"All of the above is a product of the strategy of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the government and the Ministry of Tourism. It is the result of hard work with the contribution of the private sector. A national effort to strengthen tourism from the agricultural and commercial sectors, the construction sector and the hundreds of professions that come into contact with tourism," the minister underlined, stressing that the goal is always to support the average Greek family who needs it so much, especially in this period due to the crisis experienced by all of Europe.

Next steps

Mr. Kikilias also emphasizes the efforts that have already paid off as well as the next steps that are being taken to further lengthen the tourist season, such as attracting Northern European retirees in the autumn and winter months.

“This year's season started at the beginning of March and we hope to finish at the end of the year, as we will also take advantage of the months of November and December. The energy crisis especially in northern Europe could be our opportunity to bring northern European pensioners to Greece in autumn and winter, which has a much sweeter winter with much lower energy needs compared to northern and central Europe. As part of this strategy, we are starting tours in these countries from the first week of September," he says.

Regarding the next steps towards the further upgrading of the Greek tourism product, the Minister of Tourism emphasizes that the moves that must be made in this direction have already been launched, pointing out that the multiple tourism and hotel investments that are being made and will be made in our country they give a clearly strong development signal, income and jobs, but at the same time require the implementation of important infrastructure projects on the islands and the mainland and a holistic plan for sustainable tourism development.

Sustainable destination

More specifically, with regard to sustainable tourism, the axes of the strategy will be the circular economy with an emphasis on the management of water resources and waste (clean water and drainage), electric mobility (replacement incentives, charging networks, car sharing), decongestion in road networks and ports, the energy sector (renewables penetration, energy efficiency), education and digital transformation. The goal of the above interventions, as the minister underlines, is the promotion of Greece as a sustainable tourist destination, the inclusion of tourism in the government's overall planning for sustainable development as well as the creation of a sustainable culture in the tourism industry.