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 >  Ionian  >  Zante  >  Zante has a record season

Zante closes with record season

- by Dabs Banner

Holidaymakers expected to top 500,000 this year.

As the last holiday flight leaves Zante at the end of the summer season, islanders are celebrating a record year in 2013. Latest figures show the Ionian holiday island welcomed more than 483,000 tourists at the island's airport this year, a record number. But when ferry arrivals are added later this month tourist officials on Zante are confident holidaymakers will top the 500,000 mark.

Zante not only attracts visitors from northern and central Europe and Russia, it is also a very popular holiday destination for thousands of Italians who make regular ferry crossings from ports such as Venice and Brindisi.

Zante has also benefited this year from a rise in flights from low-cost airlines that have brought in many more independent travellers to join those on all-inclusive package holidays.

Zante island authorities are already in talks with cheap flight airlines like easyJet and Ryanair to strike low price deals for 2014 in anticipation of more frequent holiday flights Zante next year.

Tourist representatives from all the Ionian Islands, which include Corfu, Kefalonia and Lefkas, are in London this week for the travel industry exhibition World Travel Market.

Greece is hoping to make a big impact at this year's World Travel Market(WTM) that open its doors on 4 November at ExCeL London exhibition centre.

On the opening day Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni will give an update on Greece as a tourism destination at a press conference organized by the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO).

Greece is poised to launch its big advertising drive to capture holiday markets next year with its theme of 'Secret Greece' in an effort to promote some of the country's lesser-known destinations such as Xanthi, Monemvasia, Olympia, Lakonia, Messinia and Delphi.

Some 50,000 executives from the global travel and tourism industry are expected to attend the WTM 2013 where more than 5,000 exhibitors showcase their holiday destinations.

The deals struck at exhibitions such as WTM and be influential in deciding which holidays get the biggest promotions among the major holiday companies and where holidaymakers visit in 2014.

International arrivals and tourism revenue in Greece and the Greek Islands are expected to surpass even the most optimistic forecasts for 2013 as the latest figures suggest a record year for visitors with around 17.5 million visitors generating around €11.5 billion in tourism receipts.

In a major drive to jump-start bookings for 2014, the Tourism Ministry and the GNTO have already launched several Greek Islands holiday promotions, released ferry schedules six months early and expect to launch scores of seaplane services between the Greek Islands.

Mrs. Kefalogianni said at a recent conference in Athens that 2014 may turn out be an even better year for Greek tourism than 2013.