Greek Tourism Industry Resilient Despite Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Greece’s tourism industry is resilient and will deal with the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine war as it did with the Covid-19 crisis, said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.

In an interview to Open TV, Kikilias said Greek society had managed to overcome the pandemic and was ready to face the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war. We will manage again with seriousness to support Greek tourism and send out a message of safety, said Kikilias stressing that the industry was resilient.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias
Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias

“The nine daily direct flights from the US to Greece with over 3,000 American travelers a week through to November is a vote of confidence in our country,” said Kikilias.

Citing ITB Berlin feedback, the minister went on to add that leisure giant TUI was planning to bring starting in April some 3 million German tourists.

“And the Brits and French will follow. Direct flights from Canada start on April 2. Australia reopens,” said Kikilias adding that there was a huge demand by both expatriates and Australians for holidays at Greek destinations. 

Greece is also expecting some 25,000 arrivals from South Korea, and we aim to triple this figure, he said.

Referring to the consequences of Russia’s war on Ukraine in terms of buying power, Kikilias said Greece would be taking actions to offset the pressure on currencies.

 “We are fighters, we will not give up the fight and we are making efforts to bring the very last traveler to Greece,” he said.

Confirming that there would be cancelations from Russia and Ukraine, Kikilias said he would be visiting other source markets in the coming period and work on ways to compensate for the lost arrivals and revenues.

Also in this direction, representatives from Greece’s Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies’ (HATTA) joined the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA) to discuss the impact of the Russian-Ukraine conflict on tourism and find ways to compensate for the loss of travelers from Russia and Ukraine.

In the meantime, a recent study by travel intelligence providers ForwardKeys, found Greece to be among the countries that may be impacted by the war but to alesser extent due to a relatively small dependence on the Russian market.

Kikilias concluded that Greece had made it easier for international travelers to visit by doing away with the PLF form and easing testing requirements for the vaccinated.

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