Greece is to work with UK operators and airlines to restore its industry post-pandemic, aiming to reposition the country as a year-round destination.
Speaking during WTM Virtual, Harry Theoharis, Greece’s tourism minister, said he had “high expectations for 2021”.
“The UK tourism market will play a leading role in consolidating this goal and we will hold a series of workshops to which the UK market professionals will be invited to participate,” he said.
“At the same time, we believe the British market can support new destinations in other Greek regions, such as western Epirus with the airport of Aktion, the Peloponnese and the north Aegean. We will work with tour operators and travel agents in this direction.”
He said Greece would advertise on an annual basis and extend cooperation with airlines “so that they are supported in a dynamic manner along with tour operators”.
The country saw more than 750,000 UK visitors last year but officials wish to promote off-season travel.
“We have already taken steps towards one of our strategic role, the extension of the tourist season.” He said this meant aiming for “an annual season” for the international market.
Cruise and thematic tourism such as gastronomy, diving and wellness would also be supported, he said.
Theoharis said Greece had finished last year “13-14% up in revenue with a 2.5-3% increase in tourist arrivals”.
“We went into this year with even better numbers; in the first two months of 2020 the increase in revenue was 22-23%. This was poised to be an incredible year.”
He said 2021 would be “a bridging year”.