Bri­tish tourists ap­pear set for a come­back to Greece this year

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

Bri­tish tourists are set for a dy­namic re­turn to Greece in 2014 as a re­port by the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bri­tish Travel Agents (ABTA) on the UK mar­ket shows, in­clud­ing Greece among the des­ti­na­tions that stand to ben­e­fit in the new sea­son. Greece is also among the top des­ti­na­tions for Bri­tish tourists for 2014 ac­cord­ing to Bri­tain’s Ex­pe­dia.

Bri­tain is the sec­ond most im­por­tant mar­ket for Greek tourism both in terms of ar­rivals (1.9 mil­lion per year) and tourism rev­enues (1.4 bil­lion eu­ros), beaten only by Ger­many.

ABTA – with some 1,200 mem­bers which in their last fi­nan­cial year posted a com­bined turnover of 37 bil­lion eu­ros – has in­cluded Greece among the 12 pop­u­lar and emerg­ing des­ti­na­tions that Bri­tish tourists are rec­om­mended to look at ahead of their hol­i­days in 2014.

On Greece, the ABTA re­port says that the coun­try’s fi­nan­cial prob­lems have led to a de­cline in prices at many bars and restau­rants, ren­der­ing the coun­try much more af­ford­able. For the Bri­tish mar­ket, the most pop­u­lar Greek is­lands re­main Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Zakyn­thos, but the re­port men­tions other op­tions for a taste of the so-

by the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bri­tish Travel Agents (ABTA) de­scribes San­torini as a desti­na­tion for five-star va­ca­tions with a spec­tac­u­lar view, as well as a pos­si­ble lo­ca­tion for an­cient At­lantis. called au­then­tic Greece, such as Tha­sos, Icaria, Alonis­sos and Skope­los. It de­scribes San­torini as a desti­na­tion for five-star va­ca­tions with a spec­tac­u­lar view, as well as a pos­si­ble lo­ca­tion for an­cient At­lantis.

Bri­tons are this year ex­pected to stick to tried-and-tested des­ti­na­tions that are not far away, a trend that is set to ben­e­fit Greece, Spain, Italy, Tur­key and France, the re­port says, adding that in 2013 the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions for Bri­tish tourists were Spain, Greece, the US, France, Cyprus, Italy, Tur­key and Tu­nisia.

Ex­pe­dia has is­sued its search and book­ing data for 2013 and 2014, mak­ing spe­cial ref­er­ence to Greece, say­ing that searches for Greek is­land hol­i­days have more than dou­bled for 2014 com­pared with 2013. Searches in Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber for Greece grew 128 per­cent from a year ear­lier, the big­gest rise among all des­ti­na­tions, with Morocco in sec­ond (up 119 per­cent).

Book­ings for Greece in 2014 are also show­ing a ma­jor in­crease, amount­ing to 36 per­cent, beaten only by book­ings to South Africa (42 per­cent higher) and Aus­tralia (41 per­cent). Ex­pe­dia of­fers online book­ings for over 240,000 ac­com­mo­da­tion units.

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