Greece has seen a 25% increase in UK arrivals between January and August this year, according to figures from the Greek National Tourism Organisation.
Figures for the eight-month period were 1.8 million up from 1.4 million in the same period of 2014, with 88.7% of these bookings being holiday packages.
The Leisure Travel Monitor report from British-based analyst GfK, which measures outbound UK bookings through the whole of the travel agent shop market and through a defined read of direct bookings, found that Greece’s islands experienced an increase in bookings of 2% overall while Halikidiki in mainland Greece saw a 43% growth.
The Greek islands with the most significant growth in bookings in the year to September 2015 were Kefalonia, Mykonos and Santorini by 11%, 17% and 32% respectively, while the Aegean islands of Paros and Naxos also saw an increase of 57% and 95% respectively.
Figures from GfK also show that the peak booking period for 2015 holidays to Greece was January, which took more than 14% of total bookings for the year. Some 28% of bookings for 2015 were made in 2014, with September and October being the highest booking months.
The GNTO is working hard to increase holidays during the shoulders seasons by promoting walking and cycling breaks and GfK figures show that the tourist office’s activity is starting to work, with holidays in March experiencing the biggest increase in passenger numbers, up by 254%; May experienced a 2% rise and September saw 6% growth.
Early indications for 2016 are positive with bookings up until September this year showing a 4% year-on-year increase with packages and air packages up 3%, flight-only bookings up 15%, and all-inclusive air packages up 4%.