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Travel

Even High Airline Fares Not Keeping Winter Tourists Out of Greece

ATHENS – There’s just no stopping tourists from coming to Greece in 2023 – during the winter – as they did in 2022 during the waning COVID-19 pandemic, not high air fares or cooler weather, wanting to take advantage of lower accommodation costs.

It’s not just Greece, said The Wall Street Journal in a feature about how more people are flying around in the off season, many using vouchers given out when airlines mostly shut down during lockdowns.

If vacationing in Europe turns into a year-round affair, it will make it harder to find off-peak deals in 2023, said travel advisors, the newspaper reported, noting that the average flight from the US to Europe in March will cost 40 percent more than three years earlier, before the Coronavirus struck.

Those preferring to come in the winter and spring, as well as the fall this year are also seen wanting to avoid the searing heat and packed venues in Greece during the summer high months.

Delta Air Lines President Glen Hauenstein – the airline has extended direct flights to Greece – said March is “getting to be a peak month these days” for trans-Atlantic travel this year, a big one.

Airline executives said on recent earnings calls that they expect summer 2023 to be a record season. Delta, United Airlines and JetBlue Airways are adding new trans-Atlantic routes ahead of summer, the paper said.

Adam Morvitz, founder and Chief Executive of point.me, a points and miles search aggregator and booking service, told The Journal that Greece is among the most popular destinations in both winter and spring now too.

He said that his company has already booked as many points and miles redemptions for April trips to Greece as it typically does for June or July.

“It could be in the 60s, there could be a chance of rain and we’re still booking trips to Mykonos,” he said, good news indeed for Greece’s Tourism Ministry which is trying to convinced travelers to come year-round.

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