Greek airports have seen an increase in passenger traffic, reaching 383% to 8.1 million in the January-April period this year. The corresponding period in 2021 saw only 1.7 million registered passengers due to coronavirus restrictions, the Civil Aviation Authority said on Monday.
The authority said scheduled flights at Greek airports totaled 89,690 during the four-month period, of which 50,059 were domestic and 39,631 international (up 103% from 2021). Compared to the same period in 2019, the number of flights is down by 9.6% and passenger traffic is down by 22.5%.
In April, passenger traffic jumped 555.2 percent to 3,591,241 passengers from the same month last year, while scheduled flights totaled 33,367, up 153 percent over the same period.
International passenger arrivals increased by 1,179.8% or 1,299,571 passengers compared to April 2021, while compared to April 2019 passenger traffic decreased by 1.1%.
Meanwhile, Greece’s close tourism ties with Scandinavian countries centered on a working meeting held on Monday between Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias and seven ambassadors at the residence of Swedish Ambassador to Greece Johan Borgstam, said NAMA reported.
The meeting was an initiative of the Swedish ambassador and included the ambassadors of Finland Jari Boris Antero Gustafsson, of Norway Frode Overland Andersen and of Denmark Klavs Holm.
Also present were the ambassadors of Slovakia Iveta Hricova, Ireland Iseult Fitzgerald and Spain Carles Casajuana. As noted by Kikilias and Borgstam, the promotion of Greek tourism creates new jobs in both countries.
The Swedish ambassador said to further strengthen Sweden’s interest in the Greek tourism market.
Borgstam also mentioned a Swedish company that specializes in Greek tourism and employs 500 people across Scandinavia.
“It’s just one company,” he noted, “and it plans to send some 400,000 to 500,000 Scandinavian tourists to Greece this summer alone,” while expanding its list of destinations. to include the islands of Thassos and Alonissos and Kalamata.
Elsewhere, UNWTO has announced the launch of the Digital Futures programme, designed to accelerate the adoption of new technologies by tourism businesses.
Developed in collaboration with some of the world’s largest technology, finance and business companies such as Mastercard, the initiative is focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up 80% of all tourism businesses.
UNWTO aims to reach at least 1 million tourism SMEs over the life of the programme, providing them with the basic skills and knowledge needed to harness the power of new and emerging technologies.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Small businesses are the backbone of tourism. The Digital Futures program will help them recover from the effects of the pandemic and move the sector forward, powered by innovation and new technologies.
To provide SMEs with tailored advice and tools, the program leverages a digital readiness diagnostic tool that benchmarks SMEs across five key digital dimensions: connectivity, business growth, e-commerce, big data and analytics , and payments and security.
The launch event, held at the IE Tower in Madrid, brought together around 200 participants, including Ambassadors to Spain from UNWTO Member States, as well as investment and promotion agencies and SMEs themselves.
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