Pre-bookings and interest by major markets point to record year for Greek tourism

Initial booking information for the coming tourism season in Greece appears highly positive, as practically every “traditional” tourist market is showing signs of increased interest.

For instance, pre-booking data from the UK market points to a 15-percent hike from 2016 numbers, despite the “specter” of Brexit that initially caused concern over how British tourists would react in 2017.

Pre-booking numbers from Russia’s three largest tour operators were also moving briskly, with the increase calculated at between 20 to 45 percent in relation to 2016. A favorable ruble-euro exchange rate was given as one reason for the greater interest by Russian holiday-makers.

According to a spokesman for Mouzenidis Travel, who was quoted on the Russian tourism operators’ website (ATOR), demand for Greek holidays in 2017 is double from 2016 levels. As such, pre-bookings will end on Jan. 31. Afterwards, holiday packages for Greece will be sold at normal prices, without discounts, which previously reached up to 40 percent.

On its part, the French tour operators’ association cited a modest 2-percent increase for major markets Crete and Rhodes, but 16 percent for other Grecian vacations.

In terms of the usual “heavyweight” market for Greece, namely, Germany, the expected increase in tourism arrivals for 2017 is hovering at a very impressive 40 percent. The latest data from the massive German market, in fact, ranks Greece as second to Spain in terms of Germans’ preference for this summer’s vacation destination.

The expected surge in tourism arrivals from Germany will be facilitated, in part, by new flights connecting the island of Kos with Hanover, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, and Basel in Switzerland, as well as new routes from Berlin-Schönefeld to Crete and Rhodes.

According to DER Touristik CEO Rene Herzog, prices in Greece have remained at the same levels as last year, as opposed to other Mediterranean destinations, that’s why “Greece is a champion in terms of price-for-value amongst top destinations for the summer of 2017.”


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