Greece is among the top three international travel destinations for Americans for 2022, according to a survey released recently by the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).
According to the findings of its member tour operators on current trends in passenger booking, Italy was named the top international destination for travelers to book for 2022. Germany came in second, followed by France, Greece and Ireland tied for third place.
Italy also tops the ranking of the top three international destinations travelers book for 2021 (based only on bookings made this year). Ireland and the UK are tied for second, followed by Costa Rica, Egypt, Iceland and Mexico tied for third.
According to the survey, eight of the 10 active USTOA members are “excited” to “cautiously optimistic” for a full resumption of activities by the end of 2021: half (49%) are “cautiously optimistic”; 24% are “optimistic” and around 7% are “excited”. A lower percentage, 11%, are “not optimistic” and 9% said they feel “negative”.
“Optimism for the recovery as early as 2021 is high, which is a positive sign for our members and the industry, especially since this survey was conducted just before the recent announcement of a potential return to Europe and in the United States by the summer, ”Terry Dale, USTOA President and CEO, said.
“While our members remain vigilant, given the fluidity of the situation, we suspect this enthusiasm will only grow stronger as reopening strategies progress,” he added.
Greece attracts American travelers
Earlier this week, Greece’s Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said he was pleased with the progress made in increasing the number of direct flights from the United States to Greece before the country reopens for the tourist season.
The minister expressed his positivity about his meetings with business leaders of United and American Airlines to encourage the creation of additional routes between American cities and Greece.
“I am extremely pleased with the response of Greek tourism opening up to the US market,” Theoharis tweeted, showing footage of his meetings with airline officials.
Theoharis traveled to Atlanta, Georgia last week, where he met with executives from Delta Airlines, headquartered in the city. Delta announced that direct flights from New York to Athens would resume on May 28, followed by flights from Atlanta on July 2.
The minister said that the Representatives of American airlines highlighted Greece’s high recovery rate among European countries as a reason to resume travel.
Greece as a model of a safe tourist destination
While keeping safety in mind, Theorharis wants to make visiting Greece as easy as possible for tourists. He explained that American and other travelers who can prove their vaccination or at least that they have tested negative for COVID 19 will be allowed to enter his country.
Theoharis maintains that Greece’s main goal with its reopening is to set a standard on how to reopen safely for international visitors.
“We say there is a system. We put it in the public domain, we want others to copy it. We think it is safe. We have the data to back it up. Of course, each country makes its own sovereign decisions, but we believe this is the way to go, ”he told Global Atlanta.