Tourism: Germans vote for Greece dynamically

The Greek summer remains a “German dream” and this year seems to confirm it once again. Representatives of the largest travel agencies who spoke to the Athens News Agency predict a year – record for Greece, which has now been established as a leading travel destination worldwide. Despite the economically difficult circumstances, the Germans this year invest more time and money in their vacations, while the luxury benefits win ground on one hand and the “all inclusive” options on the other. In addition, after three years of uncertainty, German timely programming is also returned. According to current research by the GfK market research company, 79% (+2 from 2023) of the Germans states that they will take a summer vacation, while 25% plans to spend “importantly more” this year for their vacations than in 2023. In 2024, it emerges in the same investigation, reservations made at least three to four months earlier will be more than ever. Travellers who have already closed their summer holidays are 24% more than last year. “The Germans want to travel and travel,” said German Travel Office Association (DRV) president Norbert Fibig at the opening of the International Tourism Fair ITB completed the day before yesterday in Berlin. This year’s ITB itself demonstrates how much interest in travel has been strengthened: More than 100,000 visitors in three days, 5,500 exhibitors from 170 countries – including Iraq and Afghanistan –, 24,000 panel participants and presentations, 3,200 accredited journalists, 300 travel bloggers and more than 80 tourism ministers. Germans were always considered “champions” in travel. In 2023 they spent 79 billion euros on holiday of all kinds and this year it is estimated that the record will be dropped. Aage Dynhaupt, Director of Communication of the Central Region of TUI, states to the APE that for his Group in Greece, next summer will be the best of all time. Reservations already have a two-digit growth rate since last year and Crete, a favorite destination of Germans, comes third in demand after Majorca and Antalya. “We still see a high level of willingness and expect a very strong season. Holiday packages remain the most popular option, especially because younger people prefer the security of their spending budget,” adds Mr. Dynhaupt. The TEI executive also points out that last year’s fires in Rhodes have not affected demand for the island. After all, as the German travel giant points out, choosing the best hotels in the world at the DUI Global Hotel Awards, he once again awarded Lindos Blue Luxury Hotel & Suites in Vlychia, Lindos and the TII Blue Atlantica Imperial in Columbia. Michael Kunkel, head of the department of Greece for the companies DERTOUR and ITS states the same thing: “We still have great demand for Greece for the summer of 2024 and Rhodes is no exception. It is always among the top Greek travel destinations.” Overall, according to DRV’s Norbert Fibig, the sales share in the eastern Mediterranean will rise from 36% in 2019 to 44% this year. “Despite the extreme weather patterns last year, there is still much demand for both Greece and Turkey,” he commented. In the overall ranking right now, the first summer holiday destination for Germans is Turkey, followed by Spain, in third place is Greece and the five is supplemented by Egypt, which this year will be 10% cheaper and Portugal. Here are Italy, Tunisia, Bulgaria and the United Arab Emirates, which, according to the DRV, redeem the high quality of the services provided and are now highlighted as a destination for the whole year and not only for the winter months. They even record this year the biggest increase in demand from all destinations, with 47%. For DERTOURS Greece is this year the top summer holiday destination at a short and medium distance. Here are Turkey, Spain, Tunisia and Egypt. As explained in the APR-ABE, the representative of the Inga Sver company, this year 1/3 of their customers choose a five-star hotel, confirming the estimates that want luxury tourism in bloom. At the same time, the CEO of DERTOUR International Leif Vase Larsen explains, “we see that luxury can be defined in other ways, with interruption in nature, wellness vacation or cultural interest.” More generally, the mood for personalized high-level holidays is becoming stronger, he adds. This year’s ITB, which marked the dynamic return of the industry after the coronavirus pandemic, was also full of peculiarities. The need for sustainability and vacations is now increasingly recorded. Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogiannis also focused on this. “We are interested in opening a new circle in Greek tourism, by measure, protecting the natural and cultural environment at the heart of our strategy. We invest in quality, sustainability, infrastructure upgrading and human resources,” he stressed. “Despite euphoria and positive predictions, participants in the ITB have always had in mind the enormous challenges facing the tourism industry. The “Together” which this year was the slogan of the Exhibition, underlines the fact that only joint actions can deal with them,” said the CEO of “Messe Berlin”, the organizer of the ITB, Mario Tobias by opening the gates of the ITB.