Turkey’s main competitor in the Mediterranean announced the opening of the summer season much earlier than in previous years. The Greekreporter publication announced the first charters with tourists who arrived on the Greek island of Rhodes. Tourists have already arrived there on flights from London Heathrow, as well as Gatwick and Manchester airports. In Greece, they hope for a 20% increase in tourism and an increase in income. Hopes rest on the British and tourists from the USA, since the Russian market, as stated in Greece, is “frozen”.
As the mayor of Rhodes, Antonis Kambourakis, said: “The tourist season opens so early in Rhodes for the first time. Rhodes marks the opening of summer for Greece.” Also, the island’s authorities organized a ceremonial meeting for the first 140 tourists from the first flight, giving them souvenirs and bags with traditional products. He also clarified that last year the first flight with tourists to Greece arrived on March 27.
At the same time, expectations for the summer in Greece are still optimistic. The Minister of Tourism of Greece, Vassilis Kikilias, said that this year Greece is expecting a 20% increase in tourism. He also expects a longer season.
At the same time, the minister pointed to tourists from the United States as the main source of income. According to him, Greece expects a significant increase in revenue from visitors from North America.
According to forecasts, Greece expects more than 1 million American tourists and more than 1 billion euros in tourist revenue. At the same time, the country’s authorities also admitted that the Russian market is “frozen” due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions. However, they also state that in 2022, tourism revenues recovered by 97% compared to 2019. The main role in this was played by tourists from Europe – the number of visitors from Great Britain, France and Germany increased significantly last year compared to the pre-pandemic level.