Greek airports have seen an increase in passenger traffic, soaring as high as 383% to reach 8.1 million in the January-April period this year. The corresponding period in 2021 saw only 1.7 million passengers recorded due to coronavirus restrictions, Civil Aviation Authority said on Monday.
The authority said that scheduled flights in Greek airports totaled 89,690 in the four-month period, of which 50,059 were domestic and 39,631 international (up 103% from 2021). In comparison with the same period in 2019, the number of flights were down 9.6% and passenger traffic were down 22.5%.
In April, passenger traffic soared 555.2% to 3,591,241 passengers compared with the same month last year, while scheduled flights totaled 33,367, up 153% over the same period.
International passenger arrivals were up 1,179.8% or 1,299,571 passengers, compared with April 2021, while in comparison with April 2019, passenger traffic was down 1.1%.
Meanwhile, Greece’s strong tourism ties with Scandinavian countries focused on a working meeting held between Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias and seven ambassadors at the residence of Swedish Ambassador to Greece Johan Borgstam on Monday, AMNA reported.
The meeting was an initiative of the Swedish ambassador and included ambassadors of Finland Jari Boris Antero Gustafsson, of Norway Frode Overland Andersen, and of Denmark Klavs Holm.
Also attending were the ambassadors of Slovakia Iveta Hricova, of Ireland Iseult Fitzgerald, and of Spain Carles Casajuana.As noted by both Kikilias and Borgstam, promoting Greek tourism creates new jobs in both countries.
The Swedish ambassador said further enhances Sweden’s interest in the Greek tourism market.
Borgstam also mentioned a Swedish company that specializes in Greek tourism and which employs 500 people across Scandinavia.
“This is just one company,” he noted, “and it plans to send some 400,000 to 500,000 Scandinavian tourists to Greece this summer season alone,” while also expanding its destinations roster to include Thassos and Alonissos islands and Kalamata.
Elsewhere, UNWTO has announced the launch of the Digital Futures Programme, designed to accelerate the adoption of new technology among tourism enterprises.
Developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading technology, finance, and business companies as Mastercard the initiative is focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up 80% of all tourism businesses.
UNWTO aims to reach at least 1 million tourism SMEs over the lifetime of the Programme, providing them with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to harness the power of new and emerging technologies.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Small businesses are the backbone of tourism. The Digital Futures Programme will help them to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and drive the sector forward, powered by innovation and new technology.”
In order to provide SMEs with tailored guidance and tools, the Programme is built on a Digital Readiness Diagnostic Tool that benchmarks SMEs across five key digital dimensions – Connectivity, Business Growth, E-Commerce, Big Data and Analytics, and Payments and Security.
The launch event, held at IE Tower in Madrid, was attended by around 200 participants including the Ambassadors to Spain of UNWTO’s Member States, as well as investment and promotion Agencies, and SMEs themselves.