Showcasing the diverse tourism offering of Greece and with UK visitor numbers on the rise, the Greek National Tourism Organisation has reported 2016 to be a success.

Greece received approximately 2.4 million UK visitors between January and September 2016, an increase of 15.6% compared to the same period in 2015, according to the latest figures from the Bank of Greece.

According to GFK, bookings made between January and November 2016 saw an increase of 4% compared to the same period in 2015, while there was a 21% year-on-year increase in forward bookings for 2017 during the same period.

According to the tourism organisation, key to this third year of consecutive growth has been its close partnerships and collaboration with tour operators and the trade.

Speaking at an event in London last month the Greek Minister of Tourism, Elena Kountoura, stated: “It’s important to recognise the hard work of these specialist Greek tour operators whose dedication and in-depth destination knowledge has helped to maintain Greece as one of the most popular destinations for UK travellers.

“We unveiled our new strategy for 2017 at World Travel Market that aims to extend the tourism season, enhance Greece’s tourism product and showcase lesser known destinations as well as mainland Greece. The trade is always vital in helping us promote this strategy to British consumers and both the Ministry for Tourism and the Greek National Tourism Organisation will continue to support our valued trade partners in their efforts to further enhance their product range to Greece.”

GNTO Secretary General Mr Dimitris Tryfonopoulos similarly praised the trade partnerships from 2016 and added: “Every year we work closely with both mainstream and niche tour operators to promote new routes and packages across Greece and showcase our country’s diverse tourism product. Alongside this we also ran online training for agents, sales call training for tour operators and their staff, trade workshops and road shows for travel agents across the UK and we are looking forward to further enhancing our collaborations with our UK trade partners in 2017.”

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