Greece is preparing for a record year in tourism in 2013, with a projected all time high of 17 million foreign visitors expected to visit the country this year. This large number seems attainable as existing data shows the number of Russian visitors to Greece is expected to exceed one million. At the same time, Germany is becoming an even stronger market for Greece as a touristic destination, with bookings up 20% from 2012.
These impressive numbers are expected to make up for the losses the tourism segment has experienced in 2012, including an 8% year-on-year decrease reported for German visitors to Greece, a drop highlighted by German trade magazine for tourism and business travel FVW.
Aegean Airlines has already announced three regular services between Moscow and various destinations in Greece which will be operational throughout the 2013 tourism season, the Greek carrier also considering to add more regular routes if needed. As encouraging, Mouzenidis Travel, a travel agency with 51 offices spread throughout Russia, has reported a 100% increase in bookings from Russia in 2013 as compared to the 300,000 tourists that visited Greece last year.
While the surge is indeed impressive, especially given Greece’s dire political and economical situation, in order to maintain the forecast momentum and continue its upward trend, tourist venues in all top destinations across the country will have to keep all the visitors happy to make sure they return. Bad service, added to the already shaky circumstances could lead to another drop in the number foreign visitor across several markets, not just Germany.