Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis underlined Greece's strong presence at London's World Travel Market international travel trade show and the first messages of "cautious optimism" for the Greek tourism in 2020, after his tour of the Greek stands and his meetings with representatives of the world tourist market on Monday.
The minister stated that 2019 will end positively and Greece looks to 2020 with optimism.
Referring to Thomas Cook's collapse, he said that the Greek government moved quickly to support those that suffered the greatest losses and the Greek tourist product in general, in order to ensure that there will be no permanent damage in the next years and in parallel to launch the country's tourist campaign from the first quarter of 2020. "There is already high and increased demand from airline companies to replace the lost seats but also by tour operators the reach agreements with the hotels that had contracts with Thomas Cook and lost them," the minister said.
Despite fears over Brexit and the economic crisis in Greece, Theoharis added, the British tourist market is still going well, with bookings increasing steadily in recent years, and looks set to be the top tourist market for Greece.
The minister also referred to the need for sustainable growth in tourism via active policies for the management of tourist flows and the overall tourist experience, particularly in areas where the pressure on infrastructure is highest and the brand name is world class.
On her part, the chief of the Greek National Tourism Organisation Angela Gerekou said that Greece wants to cooperate with, apart from the major tour operators, with small companies specialising in thematic tourism. The aim is to promote sustainable tourism growth and areas that are not yet widely known.
On Greece's promotional campaign package, she told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency that it will be ready by the end of January 2020 and will target the tourist markets of the Middle East, Australia, USA, as well as traditional tourist markets.