ATHENS – The major international tour operator FTI Group has added to predictions that Greece is in for a likely record tourism year in 2023, adding extra packages and seeing Crete a major attraction.
With Greece trying to keep people coming year round, and not just the summer high season of beaches, islands, sun, sand and swimming, the operator is extending its offers into the autumn too.
“Compared to pre-pandemic times, we can report a higher demand for holidays in the land of a thousand islands,” Jan Mayer, Chief Product Officer for Short & Mid-Haul told Travel Daily News.
“We will extend the 2023 summer season with selected hotel partners on Crete and Rhodes until mid-November,” he said, the company’s portfolio including more offerings on Crete.
Halina Strzyzewska, Strategic Destination Officer Greece at FTI, said the group has 350 weekly connections from around 50 airports in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as France and the Netherlands.
“For the autumn holidays we are also planning to expand flight capacities to meet demand,” she said, that season in 2022 seeing continued tourism and across more destinations in the country.
The importance of Crete for the FTI Group was shown when the island was the venue for this year’s annual conference of the Touristik Vertriebsgesellschaft (TVG) that drew some 130 participants.
Besides Crete, FTI is also focusing on a multi-faceted programme in Greece and is intensifying connections to smaller islands such as Zakynthos and Skiathos that are favorites for visitors.
Meeting Point Hellas, the group’s destination management agency, said it is seeing higher demand from 2022 when tourists began returning after COVID-19 health restrictions were lifted.
“Due to the very good bookings, especially for the islands of Rhodes. Corfu and Crete, we expect a strong push for the coming months,” said Mario Habig, CEO DMCs at the FTI Group.
Manos Drakonakis, CEO of Meeting Point Hellas & Cyprus said that, “On renewed round trip Cretan Flavors, stops at a winery as well as an olive oil factory will make gourmet hearts beat faster,” culinary tourism offered.