UK tour operators are adding flights and holidays across Greece in 2022 and 2023 to cater for recovering levels of demand from British holidaymakers.
The Greek National Tourism Organisation showcased some of the key developments during its press conference on the first day of WTM London on 1 November.
Jet2.com and its sister brand Jet2CityBreaks will operate flights and city breaks to Athens for the first time – with operations starting in April 2022 from three of the company’s UK bases: Birmingham, Manchester and Stansted airports.
And in 2023, Jet2.com and sister brand Jet2holidays will offer 200 weekly flights to Greek destinations in 2023.
The UK’s largest travel company, TUI, has launched “workcation” travel packages at selected destinations in Greece to cater for demand from digital nomads.
Independent operators are also adding new destinations for 2022 – Sunvil has added the island of Lesvos; Planet Holidays has introduced the islands of Skyros and Koufonisia; and Seafarer Holidays will launch a ‘Villa Flotilla’ offer, combining a week of private yacht charter within a flotilla with a stay in a private villa with a pool for the second week.
Furthermore, UK tour operators are starting to offer train travel to and within Greece, as a more sustainable alternative to flights.
Sunvil offers train travel from St Pancras to some of the Ionian Islands via the Alps and Milan; Tailor Made Rail offers trips via ancient cities in Italy or through the Balkans; and Great Rail Journeys offers itineraries within Greece from Athens to the heights of Olympia.
The GNTO also highlighted a host of new hotels that have recently opened in the country, including the Lighthouse Hotel in central Athens; Asterion Suites and Spa in western Crete; and Angsana Corfu, the first Banyan Tree resort in Europe.
Cultural developments showcased by the GNTO include a new archaeological museum due to open in Chania, Crete, and the reopening earlier this year of the National Gallery in Athens – one of Greece’s largest art museums, which has undergone a €59 million expansion and refurbishment.
Finally, the GNTO announced that Greece has nominated three areas – Soufli, Western Samos and Alonissos – for the World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) “Best Tourism Villages” initiative.
The project, which will select the villages at the end of November, will recognise small, rural communities that are harnessing the power of tourism to provide opportunities to safeguard communities by promoting and preserving local traditions, cultural heritage and sustainable development.