Turkey's main competitor in the Mediterranean announced the opening of the summer season much earlier than in previous years. Edition Greekreporter 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. Greece hopes for a 20% increase in tourism and an increase in income. Hopes, however, are pinned on the British and tourists from the United States, as the Russian market, as they say 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 all of Greece.” Also, the island authorities organized a solemn meeting for the first 140 tourists from the first flight, distributing 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, Greece's expectations for the summer are still optimistic. Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said Greece is expecting a 20% increase in tourism this year. He also looks forward to a longer season.
At the same time, the minister pointed to tourists from the United States as the main source of income. Greece expects a significant increase in revenue from visitors from North America, he said. Greece is forecast to have more than 1 million US 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 well-known events and anti-Russian sanctions. However, they also claim that in 2022, tourism revenues recovered by 97% compared to 2019. Tourists from Europe played the main role in this – the number of visitors from the UK, France and Germany increased significantly last year compared to pre-pandemic levels.
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