“We want to be leaders in tourism. We are in the championships, we do not want one of the best scores, we want the best score. This is done with great effort and , and diligence,” as was stated by the Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias in an interview with the TV station Open and added: “The Ministry of Tourism and professionals bring directly or indirectly 25% of the GDP of the Greek economy, increase the wealth of the country and the Greek household .

Last week we were at the very big WTM exhibition in London, with the General Secretary of Hellenic Tourism Organization EOT, Mr. Fraggakis, tourism entrepreneurs from all over the country, airlines, Regions, Municipalities.

We agreed with EasyJet to increase the availability by 500,000 airline seats by 2022. That is, instead of 1.1 it will bring 1.6 million visitors and may reach 2 million and the will was expressed to create technical bases in Heraklion and Corfu.

We also signed an agreement with Jet2, which includes an increase of 600,000 seats for 2022, 270 flights per week to 15 airports in our country, start of the period April 1, new routes from Birmingham and Manchester to Athens from April 15, supporting the city ​​break, our capital and Attica.

But British Airways plans to use, in addition to Heathrow, Gatwick from December with 64 flights to Greece.

Last month we also concluded our agreements at the French exhibition Top Resa, with Air France and Transavia.

And the reservations of October for the summer of 2022, are already 30% above the reservations of October 2018 for the summer of 2019 “.

In his speech, the Minister of Tourism pointed out that the ministry places great emphasis on quality tourism, but also on sustainable tourism, as you saw from the visit of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Halki, he stressed.

“Alternative tourism is also important and the opportunity to offer all our visitors the chance to visit our country 12 months a year. In all the Greek Regions, in all the cities, in our villages and on our islands.

That is why we will undertake two campaigns with EOT this year. One for winter tourism and city breaks and one for “Sea, sun and sand”, summer tourism.

This is our heavy industry, this is the locomotive of the Greek economy and we will not stop working hard now, in autumn and winter, in order for the income to be what it should be, to support our economy and to create new, quality and better paid jobs “stressed Mr. Kikilias.

Focusing on the revenues of Greek Tourism, he said that the forecast for this year for tourism was for revenues of 5-6 billion euros.

“At the moment they have exceeded 10 billion euros and I think we are going to 12 billion euros, in a year which for some markets started from July onwards.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis had the courage and insight to announce this year’s tourist season from May 14 with specific protocols and to give predictability to travelers, travel and airlines.

In 2022 we will not close and we will have tourists and visitors all year round. As I said in all my interviews in London, on CNBC, on CNN, on the Financial Times, I urge those who want to travel to come to Greece.

It is not only our branded destinations, the well-known ones, such as Mykonos, Santorini, Crete or Rhodes. Now is a new era when these destinations will be full and we will “illuminate” the world about other beautiful destinations, winter and summer”, the minister pointed out.

As concerns the Ministry of Tourism

Strategic targeting is the extension of the tourist season, with security and better prices, noted Mr. Kikilias.

“When you have as your strategic goal to extend the tourist season, then this offers better prices and higher quality of service, which are two issues along with safety, which is the first priority for travelers.

Our job is to expand our destinations, to illuminate so many of our beauties and to create such conditions, so that tourism in Greece is for all budgets.

Control mechanisms must do their job. And that means, I respect citizens.

I respect citizens when I make sure they don’t suffer, when they are vaccinated and I am essentially reinventing the citizen’s relationship with the State and they leave happy.

I respect the citizen when he is a customer or a visitor or a tourist and he enjoys appreciation and respect, so I offer him services and I check as a State whether these services are provided “.

Finally, referring to the pandemic, the minister stressed that the effort to deal with it helped the country to re-brand its name abroad.

“In the uncharted waters of a global public health crisis, the Greek public administration, the government made an awesome effort, with the  Ministry of Health being the spearhead.

This helped the country to re-brand its name abroad. Let everyone believe again that here is an organized State that respects citizens, that takes care of them. I remind you that everyone went to the National Health System, we used various other tools, the private sector, private clinics, military hospitals, private doctors. We organized a perfect vaccination program, with respect for citizens.

There has been a very, very big effort, which is continuing with a very powerful weapon, the vaccination weapon. Obviously, a pandemic crisis has ups and downs.

We must, with sobriety and composure and with the basic objective facts, speaking less and doing more, all together, doctors and scientists and politicians and people of the Church, all of us who have a public forum, help the world to understand what the next steps are”, concluded Mr. Kikilias.