The Greek National Tourism Organisation has revealed UK holiday bookings to Greece increased by ten per cent in the first three months of this year compared to 2013.
According to travel industry analyst GfK, while the peak months of June, July and August collectively see the biggest volumes of holidaymakers and were up eight, nine and ten per cent respectively, shoulder seasons are growing stronger.
Bookings for departures in April were up 79 per cent, while the volume for May bookings by the end of March were actually higher than August – 166,000 compared to nearly 150,000.
Similarly, departures up until the end of March for October departures were up 26 per cent.
Greece has also experienced a leap of 58 per cent for group bookings of more than 11 passengers.
While the majority (56 per cent) stay in hotels, all-inclusive bookings up 20 per cent and accommodation only bookings, which include villa rentals, were up a staggering 118 per cent – albeit from a very low base through the defined GfK read.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of holidays to Greece – 63 per cent – are predominantly beach focussed, but most holidaymakers plan to mix relaxing on the beach with other activities.
Fifty-one per cent of those on a mainly beach holiday also want to visit a city or large town while in Greece, 63 per cent plan to visit local attractions, such as ancient sites, while 37 per cent plan to get active and want to walk and cycle while in Greece.
Christina Kalogera, director of the Greek National Tourism Organisation said: “These statistics prove that British holidaymakers are again finding Greece to be an idyllic holiday that meets a range of demands.
“It is perfect for families, relaxing, culturally fascinating and provides a great backdrop for those wanting to be active and enjoy the more natural side of the country.”
In a further boost to the Greek tourism sector, World Travel Awards will host its Europe Gala Ceremony 2014 in Athens on August 2nd.