ATHENS – Tourism in Greece is on a path to bust through the 2019 record levels even during the waning COVID-19 pandemic and some 77 percent of Greeks in a survey praised the efforts to lure them.
A Metron Analysis poll showed most Greeks believe that tourism is the sector where Greece’s New Democracy government is doing its best, with estimates it could bring in more than 20 billion euros ($19.52 billion) in 2022.
Conducted on behalf of Mega TV, the poll also found that 65 percent praised the move to digitize the bureaucracy, 61 percent in defending against Turkish provocations and 50 percent in foreign policy, said GTP Headlines.
“These are four areas where, despite the individual disagreements expressed by the political parties, there is a consensus,” said Stratos Fanaras, President and CEO of Metron Analysis, the site reported.
But it wasn’t all good news for the government with elections coming in mid-2023 and the major opposition SYRIZA sniping away while the center-left PASOK-KINAL is rising.
Some 62 percent were unhappy with the handling of labor issues, 63 percent over crime, 65 percent over soaring inflation and 68 percent believing the government has failed to deal with corruption.
But none of that has dented New Democracy’s lead over SYRIZA which was at 8.4 percent in a recent poll, holding firm at that level despite the Leftists trying to claw back into the fight.
Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias lauded the tourism sector’s professionals and workers as people returned in huge numbers with the comeback of international air travel and essential end of health measures.
He told Mega TV that the effort to keep people coming in the autumn and into the winter with tourism other than sun, sand, beaches and summer will continue and is showing signs of paying off so far.
He said that more airlines are lining up for direct flights and got encouraging messages from the heads of airlines during his recent trips to Stockholm, Vienna, Berlin and Paris.
“Lufthansa Group – including Swiss, Brussels Airlines, and Eurowings – spoke of increasing flights to Greece by 30 percent in 2023. Air France and Transavia in France spoke of maintaining the number of airline seats and further increasing by 10 percent increase for next season. Austrian Airlines and SAS in Austria told us the same thing, while US airlines have requested to have additional slots and more seats,” he said, the site reported.