BUSINESS

Greek foreign vacations up 20 pct this summer

TAGS: Tourism

Vacations by Greeks to foreign destinations is up a fifth on the summer of last year, with trips to domestic destinations up 10 percent, according to figures from the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA).

The rise in travel in 2018 follows that of 2017, when 4.5 million Greeks took holidays domestically, an increase of 10.2 percent, according to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data. In total, Greeks undertook 7.5 million holiday trips, an increase of 12.6 percent.

The most popular domestic holiday destinations for Greeks this year are the southern and northern Aegean islands, the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Peloponnese. Top foreign destinations include France, Italy, central and northern Europe, as well as long trips further afield to southeast Asia, Japan, Cuba and South America.

The frequency of Greek travel abroad is partly attributable to the high occupancy rate in Greek hotels due to the increase in incoming tourism. Other factors include the good weather in central Europe and the World Cup, which put a stop to last-minute bookings from major foreign markets (UK, Germany) to popular Mediterranean destinations such as Greece, which pushed major European tourist operators into making special offers. This is expected to further reduce the availability of hotel rooms for Greek tourists up to September, thus boosting outbound tourism.

This summer has also seen an increase in Greeks taking a cruise vacation.

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