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Tourist Season in Greece Kicks Off Earlier Than Ever

Tourist Season Greece
View of Lindos, Rhodes with the Acropolis. Credit: Jebulon, CC0/Wikipedia

The tourist season opened in Greece on Saturday earlier than ever with the first charter flights carrying British tourists arriving at Rhodes.

The first international flight from London’s Heathrow landed at midday on Saturday, followed by one from Gatwick airport and one from Manchester.

In a statement, the mayor of Rhodes, Antonis Kambourakis, underlined: “Rhodes is once again at the top. For the first time so early, the tourist season opens in Rhodes with charter flights from Great Britain. Rhodes marks the opening of the summer for all of Greece.”

Members of the tourism department of the Municipality of Rhodes welcomed some 140 passengers from the first flight, handing out Greek flags and bags with traditional products.

In 2022 the first British tourists arrived on the island on March 27 on an Easyjet flight from Bristol.

Tourist season in Greece:  20 percent increase in 2023

Last month, Greece’s Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias said that Greece will experience a 20 percent increase in tourism this year. He also predicted a lengthening of the season this summer.

The comments were made during a speech on the island of Rhodes, which the minister described as the “flagship of tourism.”

Greece is expecting a major boost in revenues from visitors to the country, especially from North America.

According to projections, more than one million American travelers and over €1 billion in revenue are expected to be generated by direct flights from the United States for the upcoming tourist season.

The Bank of Greece reported in February that receipts from tourism in 2022 surpassed initial forecasts by 2.6 billion euros, reaching 17.6 million.

Total travel revenues in 2022 did not exceed those of the last full year before the pandemic, 2019, because, as analysts point out, the markets of Russia and Ukraine were frozen due to the war, and China’s remained sluggish due to the pandemic.

However, tourism receipts made a 97% recovery compared to 2019 mainly thanks to the substantial increase in travelers from the United Kingdom, France and Germany last year in comparison to pre-pandemic levels.

Related: Ten Things to Do on the Greek Island of Rhodes

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