Forecast good for Greek holidays in 2013.
Holiday tour companies forecast a good year for Greek Islands holidays in 2013. Early signs suggest that Brits booking holidays in the Greek Islands next year could rise by 10-15%, according to tour firm forecasts. Major tour operators like Thomas Cook, Sunvil, Olympic and Saga are confident of increased sales, says the Greek tourist agency SETE.
The news has been welcomed by the Greek hotel owners after a torrid time earlier this year when fears of a withdrawal from the Eurozone prompted a rash of holiday cancellations.
SETE president Andreas Andreadis, said: "We are seeing a significant increase in bookings from the English market for our country, exceeding 10%. The main reasons are the normalization of the situation in our country and its attractiveness as a destination."
SETE is to spearhead a major tourist marketing drive for Greek Island holidays in December through its company, Marketing Greece, which already has €1 million start-up capital.
News of the campaign came at he recent World Travel Market in London where the popular holiday island of Rhodes hosted a stand in a drive to highlight the emerald island in the English market, entitled 'Sunkissed by Rodos'.
Hotel owners on Rhodes and Kos confirm that early signs are good for a full recovery in the Greek holiday market next year. Kos hotel chain owner, Zarikos Costas commented: "While it is too early, the news is extremely encouraging from the English market. Kos seems to currently starring in bookings and we hope to see this continue. "
Greek tourism officials aim to pass last year's total of 16 million holiday visitors to Greece and hope to reach a figure of at least 17 million in 2013.
Hotel owners breathed sighs of relief when the Greek island holiday market recovered ground towards the end of the 2012 season with significant double-digit growth in arrivals level, notably from Britain.
But the overall tourist market in Greece remains depressed after domestic tourism collapsed with a 50% drop in Greeks taking holidays in the islands last year.
Greeks are also hoping to attract more Russian visitors after a 30% rise in tourist numbers from Russia and Ukraine in 2012 with around about 650,000 holiday arrivals.