Tour operators indicate increase in demand for tours to Greece for 20 per cent
The demand for tours to Greece on early booking offers on average grew by more than 20 per cent compared to the last year, a survey of tour operators carried out by the Interfax-Tourism indicates. "At the end of 2015, the sales were approximately at the level of the previous year. In January they grew up by 20% compared with the same period of the last year and the end of February grew by over 30% compared to the last February,» the General Director of the tour operator Mouzenidis Travel Alexander Tsandekidi said. He added that within the season sales might rise from 40% to 80%. "The growth in demand is result of few factors. First, of course, it is the ban on flights to certain destinations. Secondly, this is the Year of Culture of Greece in Russia, thanks to which Greece is significantly more mentioned in the mass media. In addition, we see that the ruble is more stable to the euro, which also affects on demand ", Alexander Tsandekidi said. The Coral Travel company is also seeing an increase in demand for tours Greece. This country will be one of the key destinations for the tour operator in summer 2016. «The number of bookings to Greece is about 15% more than in the last year. One of the most popular destinations is Rhodes, Crete is also popular", the head of Public Relations Department of Coral Travel Marina Makarkova said. She noted that in the coming season, the company will also send tourists to Zakynthos, Peloponnese, and Halkidiki. Flights will be operated from more than 20 Russian cities. In total, Marina Makarkova added, Coral Travel annually sends more than 200 thousand tourists to Greece. Tour operator TUI Russia, which will send tourists to Crete and Rhodes, also noted a high demand for Greece, comparable to the last year's level. «Regarding to the length of stay, tours for 7 and 10-11 nights are both popular", the press service of the company explained. They also added that Greece will be able partially to replace the Russians banned Turkey. This year, Greece expects to significantly increase the flow of tourists from Russia. Because of that, Greece will increase by 50% the number of visa centers in Russia. Hoteliers have decided not to raise prices for accommodation during the high season. According to data for the first 9 months of 2015, the number of trips from Russia to Greece fell by 46% compared to the same period of 2014 and amounted to 628.1 thousand people.