Planet Holidays supports Greece prime minister’s year-round tourism vision

The director of Greece specialist Planet Holidays has pledged to support prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ call for the country to become a year-round tourism market.

Mitsotakis recently told an EU tourism summit the country attracts 30-32 million tourists each year, but said extending the season would spread that number out over more months, offering different experiences and benefiting the economy and environment.

“Not enough people come to Greece for what Greece has to offer culturally,” he said. “Most people come for the beach and for the summer experience. We can do much more in terms of developing our cultural heritage and connecting it to our tourism product by offering integrated experiences.

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“It’s not about the numbers [of visitors]. At the end of the day, it’s about how much people spend in Greece. You could envision a future where you have fewer tourists spending more and maybe it would be economically, certainly environmentally, better off.”

Planet Holidays director Harry Kyrillou echoed Mitsotakis’ views, saying: “We fully support the Greek prime minister’s vision for a year-round tourism market. For years, Planet Holidays has championed this by offering Athens throughout the year.

He continued: “In the last decade, we’ve added Thessaloniki and Heraklion in Crete and Rhodes Town in Rhodes, along with fly-drives to areas of interest where hotels have stayed open in winter months.”

Kyrillou highlighted areas where year-round tourism would thrive, such as “regions with rich cultural heritage offering special interest activities, such as gastronomy, cycling, hiking and wine tours”, but acknowledged challenges to achieving year-round tourism on smaller, less accessible islands. He urged all sectors of the tourism and hospitality industries to throw their weight behind Mitsotakis’ vision.

“The transformation towards year-round tourism requires collaboration between the tourism sector and the Greek government,” he said. “This entails active involvement from hoteliers, restaurants and other service providers.

“Many of our clients prefer authentic, local experiences and supporting the local economy rather than booking all-inclusive resorts.

“As a luxury specialist in holidays and weddings catering to the higher-end market, we fully endorse initiatives that encourage more places in Greece to embrace year-round tourism.”

He added: “As prime minister Mitsotakis points out, this approach not only benefits the environment and economy, but also offers UK visitors the opportunity to explore Greece beyond the traditional tourist season.”

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