US tourists are increasingly interested in Greek destinations and contacts between Greek and US travel agents are on the rise. As a result, 2019 is the second year in a row that the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has decided to recommend Greece to its members as an ideal destination for US travelers.
Following the ASTA Destination Expo conference that took place in Athens in April 2018, organized by the Federation of Hellenic Travel and Tourism Agents (FedHATTA) and which had a strong impact on sales by US tour operators of trips to Greece, the Dodecanese island of Rhodes is hosting a second ASTA, the International Showcase, an event reserved for select destinations which started on Sunday and is set to run through Thursday.
Last year arrivals from the US grew 26.9 percent from 2017 and amounted to 1,097,000 visitors. They may trail the Britons, Germans, French and Italians in visitor numbers, but their expenditure grew 27.8 percent year-on-year to just over 1 billion euros, taking the Americans up to third spot in spending, after the Germans and the British.
The return of the Americans to Greece is considered one of the most encouraging trends in recent years, as visitors from the US have a much higher per capita spending rate than other tourists. Furthermore, thanks to its size, the US market is capable of offsetting any short-term turbulence in the British or the German markets, while it could expand incoming tourism traffic further in the medium term.
The unfolding International Showcase on Rhodes is organized by FedHATTA and the Regional Authority of the Southern Aegean, and signals the very first time in ASTA’s history that it has chosen the same country two years straight as the destination for the ASTA members to get acquainted with.
Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of the US travel agents who participated in last year’s event in Athens recorded an increase in their sales of trips to Greek destinations.