October is an incredible month for Greek tourism!

Konitsa Bridge Epirus Autumn October

Tourism Minister Vasilis Kikilias said on the Skai television morning programme "Kalimera" on Sunday that occupancy rates in October are still high on the Greek islands and in Athens, which is full of American tourists, as well as in winter destinations ahead of the October 28 long weekend.

"October is an incredible month for Greek tourism," he said, reporting occupancy rates as high as 90 or 95 pct in destinations such as Pilio, Mani, Vytina and Dimitsana, in the Zagorochoria villages of Epirus and almost 100 pct in the mountain villages above Nafpaktos.

At the same time, he added, well-known destinations such as Rhodes and Crete are still getting a lot of American and French visitors, bringing much-needed income for the average Greek family.

"This is a significant boost for the Greek economy....I am waiting until the end of the year. The 2022 budget forecasts revenues of 15 billion euros from tourism. Not only have we exceeded this but I assure you that we are significantly higher than the 18.2 billion euros of 2019," Kikilias said.

Elsewhere, inflows into the Greek economy from the Recovery and Resilience Facility have exceeded 11 billion euros at a very difficult time, Alternate Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis said in a statement to AMNA on Sunday.

"We are among the first five countries to submit a request for the disbursement of the second payment from the RFF (for 3.65 billion euros on September 30) and the first country to submit a request for the third payment (loans section)," the alternate finance minister said.

"So far, 372 projects with a total budget of 13.5 billion euros have been included in the subsidies' programme. In the loans programme, 160 investment plans with a total budget exceeding seven billion euros have been submitted.

"A sum - without precedent for the Greek state - which will be increased even further with the active participation in "Greece 2.0" of mostly small and medium-sized businesses.

"It is notable that, already, of the investment plans submitted in the loans section, 40 pct of the applications are from small and medium-sized enterprises."

Referring to his recent visit to Crete, Skylakakis stressed that the energy transition, the digitisation of the state, reduction of bureaucracy and modernisation of social infrastructure were the essence of the government's reform policy.

The minister noted that contracts have been drawn up for 23 investment plans with a combined budget of 1.4 billion euros, at an average interest rate of 0.9 pct and a 10-year repayment period.

He noted that the "Greece 2.0" plan concerns everyone and has funded essential activities such as opening fire breaks and access roads in forests, improving energy efficiency in old buildings or providing technology for school students.

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