ATHENS – Revenues from tourism soared 342 pct in the first three months of 2022 compared with the same period the previous year, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias revealed in an interview on the breakfast television show “Kalimera Ellada” on the ANT1 channel.
Kikilias said that arrivals had increased by 295 pct in relation to 2021, while popular destinations like the islands in the south and southeastern Aegean had also seen an increase in tourist arrivals and revenues in May of about 10 pct relative to the same month in 2019, before the pandemic.
“In June alone, we expected 500 cruise ships in Greece. These are figures that show that there really is a strong tourism flow, which is getting stronger week by week,” the minister added.
He reported record numbers of arrivals from the United States, with more than half a million arriving on direct flights, which had increased to 63 a week since March 7.
“These are high spenders, who leave a lot of revenue in shops, hotels, the city and the country,” he noted and reported that several international tour operators were already signing contracts for 2023.
Pointing out that Greece ranked fifth as a tourist brand worldwide, Kikilias said the tourism ministry’s strategic goal had been to promote new and lesser-known destinations, as well as cruise tourism, and to enhance the tourist product in even non-traditional destinations.
“This is because we want the dividend from tourism to reach the average Greek family in every corner of our country,” he said.
He announced that the budget for this year’s subsidised tourism programme “Tourism for All” will be increased to 30 million euros, with the programme acquiring a new form and structure that involved almost no red tape.