Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said last week that popular destinations such as the islands in the south and southeast Aegean saw an increase in the number of tourists and income of about 10% this month compared to May 2019, before the pandemic.
“In June alone, we expect 500 cruise ships in Greece. These are figures that show that the influx of tourists is really strong and is increasing every week,” the minister said.
He also reported a record number of arrivals from the US, with more than half a million people arriving on direct flights, which will increase to 63 a week after the launch on March 7.
“These are people with big expenses who leave a lot of income in shops, hotels, city and country,” Kikilias said of this particular group, revealing that several international tour operators have already signed contracts for 2023.
Noting that Greece ranks fifth among the world’s tourism brands, Kikilias said the ministry’s strategic goal was to promote new and lesser-known destinations as well as cruise tourism, and to improve the tourism product even in non-traditional destinations.
“This is because we want the tourism dividend to reach the average Greek family in every corner of our country,” he said.
He said that this year the budget of the subsidized social program “Tourism for All” will be increased to 30 million euros, and the initiative itself will acquire a new form and structure, practically excluding bureaucracy.