Greek tourism aims at attracting South Koreans, Indians and Latin Americans

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Greek tourism is preparing to open to new markets after the record revenue and arrivals recorded in 2023. In this context, Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT) is working on new partnerships with tour operators and international airlines to achieve a new visitor record in 2024 and collections, as the general secretary of the EOT, Dimitris Fragakis, said yesterday.

An important step will be the increase of Air China's flights to and from China, which is now being discussed between the Greek institutions and the company, while direct flights to and from Shanghai will also start in April. It is noted that China was closed for a long time, so the promotion program for Greek tourism in the country is now being formed.

Mr Fragakis referred to the opening to India and the Arab countries, whose penetration in the Greek market is "unreasonably low", as well as to Korea, Australia and Latin America.

Of course, the crowning glory of Greek tourism is the traditional markets of Europe and the United States.

This year, EOT plans an overseas promotion program based on two pillars: direct promotion in media and international market platforms and a targeted advertising program in the American and European markets.

The total budget for 2024 reaches 9.4 million euros for promotion and co-advertising with strategic tour operators, airlines that have a significant flying project to urban or regional destinations and third parties whose activity is linked to tourism, providing tourism products or services in Greece.

However, the decision-makers big bet is how the revenues will be distributed in more than the three regions that currently generate the majority of revenues - almost 21 billion euros - from tourism.

Based on the data for incoming tourism in 2022, South Aegean, with 4.7 billion euros, maintains the first position among the 13 regions, having a share of 27% of the total tourist receipts.

On the contrary, the region with the lowest tourist receipts nationwide is Western Macedonia, with only 49 million euros. At the same time, the Region of Epirus records the lowest average expenditure per visit, with 240 euros, data highlighting the tourism development potential of the two regions.

The shift to quality tourism seems inevitable, as Greece "will have to stop counting only heads" if it wants to change course.

In this context, hoteliers are aligned in the choice between quantity and quality, as the president of the Hotel Chamber, Alexandros Vassilikos, said. However, the pre-booking indicators show that the change in travellers' behaviour is here to stay, which indicates that "we probably underestimated revenge travelling and a greater part of the disposable income is directed to travel", he emphasised.

Change of baton in Greek hotels

Also, a challenge for the hotel industry is the change in the generation of hoteliers, who are now called upon to make decisions operating in a different hotel model.

The new model includes, among other things, the entry of international brands into the country, whose penetration is still at low levels. These are issues that will be discussed at the upcoming 7th International Hospitality Forum organised as part of the HORECA exhibition.

Notable for the recovery of Greek tourism is the organisation of the international Resort & Residential Hospitality Forum in Athens after three years.

The conference, last organised in Portugal, will be supported by Enterprise Greece, EOT and the Hotel Chamber, while Greece will host the event in the next three years.

READ MORE: Greece Reigns Supreme: Conde Nast Traveler’s Top Island Picks for 2024.

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