Greece is counting on seeing more tourists in winter as part of a long-term strategy to extend its tourism season past the summer months.
Speaking on SKAI television, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said he was expecting a Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) campaign to promote winter destinations and city breaks to bring in results and complete Greece’s positive performance for the year.
“We are working hard to establish Greece as a 12-month tourist destination,” he said, pointing to the wide array of tourism options available all year round.
Kikilias referred to the country’s encouraging performance this year despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Greece is expecting tourism revenue to reach 12 billion euros in 2021 exceeding initial estimates and at the same time this week the European Commission revised upward its growth outlook for Greece to 7.1 percent in 2021 and 5.2 percent in 2022.
The minister underlined the sector’s important contribution to this performance adding that it also creates new, quality jobs serving as a pillar of the economy.
Looking ahead, Kikilias said he expects 2022 to be a good year, citing a number of deals with airline companies and tour operators. Indicatively, he cited October pre-bookings for the summer which were up by 30 percent over October 2018 for the summer of 2019.
Lastly, the minister said Greece’s performance this year, “amidst Covid-19” is the result of close cooperation with trade associations and chambers and tourism professionals across the country who are taking actions to be ready for an early opening next year in spring.
“We must be ready in March. As of April 1, most airlines will be bringing people over. And we will be ready,” he said.