ATHENS – A strategy to lure tourists year round is seeing more coming in the autumn and likely into the winter and they are more and more being directed to less popular spots which is seeing revenues rise.
Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said tourism spending is up 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) so far over 2021 even during the waning COVID-19 pandemic after the New Democracy gambled on essentially ending health restrictions.
He told Open TV that Giorgos Achladiotis, a government official on the island of Kastellorizo, near Turkey’s shore, said hotels there and on the nearby islands of Chios, Samos and Kos were very high deep into November.
“We are interested in all our islands and the mainland, and the destinations that do not have a strong brand. The tourism product is not just for 2.5 regions, it is for 13 regions in the country,” he said, as tourists are being told that Greek islands go beyond Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu and Crete.
To boost winter tourism, he added, some 11 airlines have already signed agreements with the Greek National Tourism Organization for flights and new destinations or higher capacity in December, January, February, and March.
Greece is also trying to get more tourists from the Mideast as well as the United States, China and Europe and talking to officials in Egypt, which has a Greek history as well.
Ahmed Issa, Egypt’s Minister of Culture and Antiquities, met with Nikolaos Garilidis, Greece’s Ambassador in Cairo, who is ending his term and they talked about ways to enhance collaborations in the fields of tourism and cultural heritage and reviewed the restoration process and reopening plan of the Greco – Roman Museum in Alexandria.
Issa noted that the museum’s reopening will strengthen the historically close Egyptian – Greek relations, since it is one of the most important and oldest tourist and archaeological landmarks specialized in the Greco-Roman civilization in the Mediterranean basin.
During the meeting, Garilidis praised Egypt for its continuous efforts to promote the Egyptian tourism product and protect its heritage, said Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency ANA-MPA.
The Greek Diaspora in Egypt was among the country’s biggest with a population reaching 140,000 people at its height although following a nationalization movement there are only a few thousand remaining, in Cairo and Alexandria.
But there are a large number of Greek associations and clubs, as well as schools and cultural centers is still active in country while the Patriarchate of Alexandria, whose activities extend across the African continent, retains excellent relations with the Egyptian State and Coptic Church.