Greece strikes deal with Romania in bid to attract more Romanian tourists this summer


Greece expects successful tourism, with more Romanian tourists, as Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias noted during a meeting with his Romanian counterpart.

According to a press release issued by the Greek Ministry of Tourism, Romanian travelers are the most interested in alternative tourism, and a notable increase in places and destinations like the Ionian Islands, Evia and Thasos being among the most preferred choices, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

Also, the Greek government has worked intensively on alternative tourism, which includes tourism throughout the year, not just the summer season, although this is Greece’s forte.

“The Romanian market is very important for us. And for road tourism but also for flights that now come from Bucharest, Cluj and other cities to Athens, Thessaloniki, to continental destinations where there are airports and to our islands. I see a big increase in places and destinations,” Minister Kikilias said, also noting that he was happy that airlines and tour operators are investing in the country.

Furthermore, the Romanian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Tourism, Rus Lucian Ioan, underlined his country’s interest in all forms of tourism in Greece and cited religious tourism as one of the main reasons why Romanians remain loyal to the destination.

Religious tourism is an important attraction for Greece, as the country is home to several churches and monasteries, such as the Monastery of St. John and the Church of Panagia, a popular place of pilgrimage in Greece. Greece and Romania are predominantly Orthodox Christians, with 90 and 82% of the population identifying with the religion.

“We have also decided to do a roadshow in the Balkan countries, and not only, in order to be able to support these tourist markets. Romania is one of these countries. It is a country that has strong relations and ties with Greece and Orthodoxy as well. That is to say that they come to our country for our religious tourism but also for our gastronomy, they like the mountains, mountaineering, hiking and they also like to come and rent small sailboats. revealed the Minister of Tourism.

This initiative by both parties is more than welcome, provided that Greece witnessed high rates of Romanian travelers in 2020. Although the main reason for the decrease in the number of Romanian tourists in Greece is related to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the rates have plunged to the lowest levels in 15 years.

According to data from Statista, the number of Romanian travelers to Greece fell to 204,600 – the lowest rate recorded between 2005 and 2020. Specifically, the number of Romanian tourists in 2020 was 85% lower than that of Greece. previous year, reaching only 204,600 out of 1.3 million recorded in 2019.

These rates were 18,400 tourists lower, 8% less than in 2011, when the lowest rates of Romanian visitors were recorded (223,000).

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