The increase in the number of French who this year preferred to spend their summer holidays in Greece, based on the first estimates of travel agents.
“Greece has a very good image because it is an integrated destination from a cultural, gastronomic, natural and coastal point of view,” says Christophe Fuss, deputy managing director of TUI France, in Les Échos newspaper. “It should also be noted that the Greek government handled the Covid crisis very well, reassuring French customers very quickly. Greece quickly appeared to be a “safe” destination. All these factors contributed to making it the favorite destination of our customers this summer as well”, points out Fuss.
Moreover, according to a statement from the Association of Travel Agents (SETO), tourists who chose a package tour (flight, accommodation, excursions) rushed this year mainly to Greece and Spain. From May 1 to August 31, French travel agents transported almost 1.4 million people on “package” trips, including 289,000 to Spain and 279,000 to Greece. More specifically, in the Greek islands there was an increase of 47% compared to last year, while in mainland Greece an increase of 84% was recorded. According to Travel Companies, which collects data from tour operators as well as travel agencies, the destination Greece saw a 30% jump compared to 2019. The same is true for professionals: the Club Med flagship in Gregolimanos ( Evia) again broke the occupancy record, although it was surpassed by the Club in Marbella (Spain), which just opened. At NG Travel there was also an explosion in departures to Spain (90%) and Greece (110%).
Kikilias: “Arrivals from France increased by 23% this year compared to 2019”
“The messages we receive about the extension of the tourist season are promising, our efforts continue to bear fruit” said the Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias after contacts he had with the heads of airlines and tour operators of France, on the sidelines of the IFTM-Top Résa 2022 International Exhibition taking place in Paris.
As the market players told the minister -according to a relevant announcement-, the success of this summer for Greek tourism gives impetus for the coming months and contributes decisively to extension of the tourist season in our country.
At the meeting with Air France executives, the company’s European director, Frédéric Descours, and Marketing director, Frédéric Ribes, pointed out that this year a 50% increase was recorded on seat availability compared to 2019, while from Transavia, CEO Nathalie Stubler and general manager Nicolas Henin, reported that seat availability increased by 60% compared to the pre-Covid period and expressed interest in an additional 10% increase for 2023.
According to the airlines, this year’s success has resulted in flights being extended by an extra month, with arrivals from France up to 15 September up 23% compared to the same period in 2019 and with the further extension having strong prospects. For their part, the tour operators (SELECTOUR, Voyage Privé etc.) informed Mr. Kikilia that they have sold all their packages for September and October, that there is interest in the coming months and that 2023 will be a year of consolidation.
After the meetings, Mr. Kikilias said: “The messages we received from the heads of the airlines and tour operators regarding the extension of the tourist season in our country are promising. This very good image is due to excellent run of the summer season which brought Greece to the top destinations in Europe and beyond. For the French this year, our country is the second most popular destination with a 23% increase in arrivals compared to 2019. The strong alliance that we started building last year in autumn is bearing fruit and we believe that with the cooperation of all forces (airlines, travel agencies, hoteliers, local government, shops of health interest) we will have continuity. With all our strength, we do everything to strengthen local economies, small-medium enterprises and the average Greek family. Every day that the season is extended, every extra euro that comes from every traveler, is a profit”.
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