As 2022 is drawing to a close, many destinations and travel businesses are reflecting on the results of this post-pandemic year for UK travel. Specifically, the Greek tourism minister, Vassilis Kikilias, has reportedly celebrated the “fantastic” number of UK visitors that Greece received in 2022.  

According to Kikilias, while 2022 has “not been the easiest year” for Greek tourism, or indeed tourism as a whole, the number of UK visitors to Greece this year has greatly surpassed 3 million, a number that is “close to [their] all-time record”. 

“Taking into consideration all the uncertainties of inflation, the energy crisis, war, flight and airport disruption, and the continuing pandemic, we’ve had great success with the British market,” said Kikilias in a statement. “Brits love Greece whether it’s for the loud, party destination; a family holiday with the kids; golf and sport; culture and food; or short breaks.” 

The Greek tourism minister also discussed future responsibilities and improvements that can be expected in the coming year. Kikilias has been designated the task to “take this achievement and push these numbers further” as we cross over into 2023. Some of these further numbers can be expected to come from extending the season, boosting air capacity to Greece, encouraging visitors to travel to less talked about parts of the destination, and bringing in tourists with higher incomes.  

Kikilias stated that he spent World Travel Market discussing these plans with airlines and tour operators in order to support the future growth of Greek tourism stepping into the new year. Though Kikilias “does not have a crystal ball” to see the future of travel for Greece in 2023, he stated that he was optimistic following this uplift in statistics. 

A large portion of the uplift in success for many destinations in 2022 could have been inspired by the reduction in Covid-related restrictions, as is reflected on the Foreign Travel Advice page. Following the drop of restrictions in many destinations, including Greece, the tourism sector has invested greatly in the push for growth in travel, with optimistic success. 

Kikilias also said that there was “great momentum” shown in the cruise sector for Greece. In 2022, Greece received over 5,000 cruise ships and the number of ships homeporting or registering an overnight stay in Thessaloniki increased from 19 to 78. This counted for 55% of cruise ships according to Kikilias. 

The tourism minister also commented on the rise of sustainability in travel as “a trend” and vouched for Greece as a destination with sustainability at the core of the growth they were seeing in travel, he said, “It’s a trend, but it’s absolutely correct to be so. It’s very important for us to create a sustainable future for Greece.” 

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