ATHENS – There’s wellness tourism and health tourism and sports tourism and …. well, Greece is seeking to make the country a year-round destination for foreign travelers and now reaching out to adventurers.
The Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) has joined the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (ATAS) that is a key to finding people who like to travel but not sit on their butts on the beach soaking up the sun on an island.
Eleni Skarveli, Director of the GNTO’s United Kingdom and Ireland Office, said: “It is very important for Greece to be as more than a sun-and-sea destination,” reported Travel Weekly.
“Greece has very diverse products and with ATAS. Greece’s USPs on adventure tourism will be in the spotlight,” she said, noting that the UK is a big market for Greece tourism.
ATAS Account Director Claire Brighton told the site that, “It’s great to welcome another tourist board to ATAS – our members really are able to showcase a wide variety of wonderful destinations with endless opportunities for exciting tours and adventurous holidays.
“It’s so positive to hear from the GNTO and our other members about buoyant sales in the peaks season and encouraging bookings for 2023 and 2024,” she added.
Since so many staff members in travel companies moved on during the Coronavirus pandemic when international travel was brought to a near standstill, Skarveli said she wants to meet travel agents to pitch them on Greece.
Skarveli also said more tourists are seeking safer, greener destinations after the pandemic, as well as hybrid working-and-leisure options, the site said, Greece also trying to woo digital nomads skilled in high tech who can work anywhere.
A key initiative is the destination’s new sustainablegreece.co.uk website, which aims to show responsible tourism options to travellers and the trade who seek nature, wildlife or getting engaged with local communities, the report said.
“Greece enjoys long seasons of sunshine that favour the touring and adventure sector,” she said, highlighting activities such as cycling, climbing, sailing, walking and birdwatching that are less straining adventures.
Culinary tours can take visitors to explore vineyards or to join cookery lessons, she added and now breweries are getting in on the act, those who make craft beer that competes with big brands.
Skarveli said bookings for 2023 are looking “very positive” with direct flights starting to operate ahead of the Easter holidays. “January has been proved very good for early bookings,” she said, adding that sales surpassed 2019 numbers.
“Trade sales are very important for us, as most travelers prefer the comfort of a travel agent to organize a trip to Greece. “There are so many Greek islands, it is difficult to choose,” she said.
She concluded: “I do not think the rising cost of living will affect bookings but travelers will probably have higher expectations for their holidays and I am sure Greece will fulfill them.”