With airlines adding more than a million more seats to Greece from the UK for summer 2022, impactful marketing campaigns and positive vaccination rates, the destination could see a quicker recovery than expected with the UK market acting as a driving force.

Marketing to attract UK tourists

Despite the domestic tourism boom across Europe in 2021 and 2022, Greece made its intentions clear with its €22m ‘All I want is Greece’ global campaign launched in May. The campaign focused on experiences, the Greek landscape, and most of all, an escape from everyday life. The campaign tapped into pent-up demand from the UK market, which has a growing desire to explore new places caused by social distancing, isolation and home working during the pandemic.

The UK, its second-largest source market in 2019, has witnessed renewed appetite for international travel after a successful vaccination programme and a significant reduction in Covid-19 fatalities from last year.

Promising vaccination progress increased airlines’ confidence

Greece consistently reassured Brits since May 2021 that vaccinated tourists are more than welcome, creating increased demand for holidays during the summer. While trips from the UK are not currently anywhere near 2019 levels, there is potential for a record number of Brits to hit Greek shores in 2022, especially now after recent announcements from Jet2 and easyJet that they will be adding 1.5 million seats to Greece for next summer.

The strategic focus from Greece to vaccinate populations across the Aegean Islands, where tourism is prevalent, generated renewed confidence from the UK’s top low-cost and charter airlines. According to GlobalData’s Covid-19 database, approximately 13 million have received at least one vaccine dose in Greece, resulting in around 60% of the population becoming fully vaccinated. By summer 2022, we can expect these levels to be much higher. In addition, many Brits will have received a third booster jab where appropriate, heightening immunity and lowering risk of infection. As Greece’s second-largest source market behind Germany, it will undoubtedly be a significant player in its inbound tourism recovery.

Greece could be more affordable, which will boost inbound tourism

A surge of cheap airline seats for UK travellers could help to drive the cost of travelling down, thus increasing demand. Across the industry, experts have feared a price hike as the pandemic eases. However, if Greece can stay competitively priced in 2022, it has a chance to gain a significant advantage on rival destinations such as Turkey, Italy and Spain.

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Summer 2022 looks set to be a pivotal point in Greece’s international tourism recovery, with the UK source market potentially playing a significant part.