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Greece Heading for a New Record Breaking Tourism Year in 2024

Greece tourism 2024
Airline reservations indicate a potential tourism surge of up to 10 percent in 2024. The island of Ios. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece is heading for a new record year in tourism in 2024, industry officials say, pointing to early bookings.

The current trajectory of airline reservations, encompassing both sold tickets and seats allocated by airlines for the upcoming season, indicates a potential tourism surge of up to 10 percent in 2024 compared to the remarkable highs achieved in 2023.

“Greece is heading for the highest performance of all time,” in 2024, TUI tourism group’s Head of Communications, Aage Dünhaupt, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA).

He pointed out that Crete, Rhodes, and Kos remain top destinations for the customers of the company, which, this year, is beginning the summer season in Greece earlier than in any previous year.

Asked about the Germans’ vacation plans amid a fiscal crisis and economic recession in their country, Dünhaupt replied that there was no reluctance or unwillingness. “On the contrary,” he explained, “pre-bookings for the summer of 2024 are above the levels of 2019 (pre-pandemic),” and he predicted “a good summer in 2024 in the Mediterranean and especially in Greece.”

Islands, in particular, are in greater demand than ever. “Crete, Rhodes, and Kos are the biggest favorites of our customers and occupy positions 3, 4, and 5 in the scale of preferences of German vacationers,” said the representative of TUI, noting that his company foresees an increase in demand and is constantly expanding its portfolio.

TUI is starting the summer season in Greece earlier than ever, with the first flights arriving in Rhodes and Crete at the start of the (Catholic) Easter holidays on March 26th.

“Our airline will offer nearly 600 flights per week to 26 sunny destinations and will have its largest offering from Hanover and Dusseldorf, with 750,000 seats and 150 flights per week at each of the two airports,” explained Dünhaupt.

Greece reaches out to new tourism markets in 2024

Reaching out to new segments of the tourism market such as LGBTQ+, Generation Ζ, and Digital Nomads is a top priority for the Greek Tourism Ministry through the diversification of products on offer, said Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni last week.

Outlining the ministry’s tourism marketing and promotional strategy for 2024, Kefalogianni said it would include an aggressive marketing policy aimed at promoting differentiated, multi-thematic tourism products to traditional source markets and emerging target markets.

In this direction, Kefalogianni said the ministry would be promoting gastronomy and wine tourism, cultural tourism, city breaks beyond Athens and Thessaloniki, mountain and winter tourism, sports tourism, health and wellness, luxury tourism, diving and marine tourism, wedding tourism, conference and incentive travel, and LGBTQ+ tourism.

Tourism in Greece soars in 2023

Greece’s tourism figures have soared in the first ten months of 2023, as the air and road arrivals data published by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) show.

Specifically in the January to October 2023 period, twenty-three million international air arrivals were recorded, surpassing the January to October 2022 figures. This was an 11.5 percent increase.

In absolute numbers, in the first ten months of the year, SETE showed 2.4 million additional arrivals. Compared to the January to October 2019 period, the increase was at 12 percent.

On the travel receipts front, as published by SETE, it was emphasized that in the nine-month period January to September 2023, travel receipts showed an increase of 15.2 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2022. This amounted to 17,919 million euros in revenue from Greek tourism.

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