More direct flights, returning US tourists flock to Greece

NEW YORK — The addition of more direct flights from the United States has seen American tourists, including the valued diaspora, return to Greece in large numbers so far in 2022 and spend big.

Flights go to Athens international airports and the second largest city and port of Thessaloniki, which has also grown in popularity, offering a more cosmopolitan and diverse experience than the capital.

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) for the Greece region said flights were the driving force in bringing in tourists, which Greek officials say could reach at least 500,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic. in decline.

The Greek chapter of ASTA has been awarded for the second year as the fastest growing internationally, as the country’s lure seems even more irresistible with people crazy to travel again after being restricted for more than two years.

The agreement reached with US airlines for 63 direct flights a week from the US international airport in Athens has resulted in many “spendthrifts” visiting the country, Kathimerini said.

Statistics showed that the average American travel budget was $2,000 per person per week, of which 25% was spent on accommodation and 15% on food, significantly boosting the Greek economy. .

“Greece is among ASTA’s Distinguished Destinations, especially for this year,” said Leonidas Babanis, ASTA President for the Greece-Cyprus Region, of the impressive results.

Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said increasing the number of wealthy visitors favored by the government and trying to attract year-round people, including Americans, has proven to be a successful strategy.