Greek islands in holiday boom.
Amid reports of a rise in holiday sales to the Greek Islands this year it appears that Zante, Corfu and Rhodes are leading the way in a tourism recovery. After a couple of lean years the recent unrest in Tunisia and Egypt has prompted a jump in visitors switching to the Greek Islands.
And new figures for 2011 show that the number of visitors flying in for an early holiday break on the popular Greek island of Zante has increased very sharply.
Statistics for April – the traditional start of the Greek Island holiday season – shows a fivefold increase of arrivals at the airport on Zante or Zakynthos as it is also known.
A breakdown of the figures shows that most of the extra visitors have arrived on charter flights, with around 2,600 arrivals in 2011 compared to about 460 in April last year.
Locals hope the early arrivals will prompt a bumper year for Greek Islands' holidays, some good news at last in the wake of the country's recent financial problems.
And in neighbouring Corfu, April figures that tourism grew by 72% compared with April 2010 according to the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. G. Nikitiadis, on a visit to the island.
Tourist arrivals in Rhodes also increased by 132 percent in April, compared to the corresponding month in 2010, according to data announced by the Civil Aviation Service, with tourists arriving in Rhodes on charter flights amounting to 67,692.
The popular Greek Island Holidays website has also seen sales up right across the Greek Islands so far this year with holidays booked through the website up by 30% on last year, although Zante still lags in fifth place for package holiday sales behind Thassos, Kefalonia, Skiathos and Kos .
Hopefully the busy start to the 2011 holiday season will herald an upturn for Greece's beleaguered economy.