Greece has hailed the trade for its support in boosting visitors numbers during the shoulder months around the summer.

Minister for tourism Elena Kountoura said that traditionally tourism to Greece has been from the end of April to September, with the majority of visitors travelling in June, July and August.

However this year the Greek National Tourist Organisation implemented a plan to extend the season, with the first flights arriving on March 15 and the last to be on November 15.

She said: “We asked travel agents and tour operators to trust us and believe that we are a 365 days a year destination and that their customers would be happy in Greece during the less popular months.

“It’s worked well and we’re planning the same for next year. Now we have the full trust of visitors and agents and operators were confident that this will be a success again in 2017.”

Kountoura attributed the longer season as one of the reasons behind the countries 1.3% increase in overseas visitors year-on-year in 2016.

She also attributed it to new destinations opening up, with more Brits visiting less known islands and parts of the mainland such as Peloponnese and Samos.