The data collected by GNTO (Greek Tourism Organization) shows that last year Greece was visited by over one million people from Poland. It means that this country was the number one for all Polish tourists among all holiday destinations. The Greek authorities hope that the dynamic growth trend in the number of visitors will also be maintained during the upcoming holiday season.
It is worth noting that for many years, the greatest popularity among Polish tourists enjoys leisure on the islands. At the top positions there are such destinations as Kos, Zakhyntos, Corfu, Rhodes, and of course Crete.
In more detail, based on data from Greek airports, it is known that from Poland to Greece a total of 1.014 million tourists flew. It is more than 30 percent more compared to 2017, when the number of visitors reached almost 750,000 people. Such dynamic growth meant that the Poles were promoted from seventh to fifth in the ranking of countries whose inhabitants most often visited Greece. Last year, Germany (3.64 million, +18 percent in 2018) visited Germany more willingly than our compatriots, the British (3.6 million, +9.6 percent in 2018), Italians (1.37 million, +14, 3 percent) and the French (1.16 million, +14.2 percent).
The vast majority, about 80% of all people coming to Greece were those who used charter flights. According to data collected by the Polish Civil Aviation Office during the first three quarters of last year, this type of calls attracted about 793 thousand. passengers.
Statistics on Polish tourists were presented in the city of Karditsa, where the anniversary ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Poland and Greece took place. The event was organized by the Greek Ministry of Tourism and local authorities.
On the occasion of these celebrations, in cooperation with Aegean Airlines, a meeting of representatives of leading Polish travel agencies organizing trips to Greece was organized. Participants included such tour operators as Itaka, Grecos, TUI or Ecco Holiday. One of the elements of this meeting was to show the representatives of travel agencies the strengths of the Karditsa region and present the strategy of extending the tourist season.
Data from the largest European tour operators, however, seem to confirm that the growth rate of Greece's popularity among tourists has slowed considerably. Many of the tour operators say that there is a clear drop in interest in leisure offers in the Greek part of the Mediterranean. Such voices appear not only on the part of travel agencies, but also on the part of the broadly understood Greek tourism industry. This is no different in the case of Poland, where the Greeks currently assess a reduction in the number of bookings at around 20% compared to the same period last year.
It is worth noting here that this does not apply to all travel agencies. Grecos, who specializes in organizing trips to Greece, has recorded a slight increase in trips sold as part of early first-sale reservations. However, even with this travel agency, the end of the season in 2019 with a higher number of tourists sent to Greece compared to 2018 will not be possible. The tour operator, like other Polish travel agencies, after the end of last year's season, adjusted the number of offers in its catalog. Currently, the range of trips available for individual destinations is smaller compared to 2018. Thus, the number of Polish tourists sent by Grecos to Greece in 2019 will be smaller.
The fact that the upcoming season for the Greek tourism sector may be difficult, we wrote in the winter in one of our articles: Forecasts for the tourist season 2019. Once again we pointed out that Greece will have to face increasing pressure from such states such as: Egypt, Turkey or Tunisia. Rest in these countries is definitely cheaper now and returns to favor. A tourist who is not attached to a specific direction and does not feel a sense of loyalty to Greece will be happy to choose a much more advantageous offer.
The second aspect emphasized by experts is that Greece is now entering the end of the business cycle. The natural consequence is that over the next seasons there may be periods characterized by poorer results obtained by the tourist sector in Greece.