WestJet

Published on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

TUI to trial extended summer season for Greece



TUI Travel is hoping to trial an extended summer season to Greece for 2015 by starting to sell earlier departures.


The tour operator said that plans between the Greek Government and their Greek partners were still to be agreed.


But TUI chief executive Peter Long said: "The relationship that we have built with this beautiful country over the last 50 years is a strong one and one that we are proud of. We will continue to invest in the future of Greece, working in close cooperation with the Government. This includes trialling an earlier start to our 2015 Summer Season."


Long told the Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, that the company aimed for the growth in passenger numbers for 2015 to be similar to this year, which was 10%.


In return he asked for a greater link between local producers and hotels to help boost local economic spend and increase customer satisfaction and to encourage development in the smaller Greek islands.


He also called for improvements to the infrastructure for regional airports, roads, cruise ports and marinas and for Greece to invest in its people with modern tourism education.


Long said: "Last year, when I met the Prime Minister, we committed to increasing passenger numbers by 10%. We have achieved that, bringing some two million TUI Travel customers from across all of our source markets, exceeding our best expectations."


"Although, it's not only about arrival numbers; it's also about the overall economic and social benefit generated.


"We support 10,000 jobs (directly and indirectly) here in Greece and as a travel organisation; we make up roughly 10% of the total international arrivals in the country."


The tourism sector in Greece has been a significant driving force of the economic recovery and according to statistics from the World Travel and Tourism Council, the sector is forecasted to contribute almost 20% to the Greece's GDP this year.

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  • When?

    In the 1980s charter flights to many Greek islands used to start from the beginning of April until they were gradually changed to the beginning of May, so this nothing new. If anything, it seems that the weather is April is no longer as predictable and good in Greece as it was then. Greece has to market itself as a destination for more than sun and sea. The waling and food are great.

    By Allan Kinross, Thursday, October 23, 2014

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