20 November, 2006
The head of the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) Giannis Evangelou reported a marked rise in bookings for top-category hotels and an increase in the numbers of American tourists to Greece in 2006, during statements at the 22nd Philoxenia Tourism Exhibition on Saturday. He also "great promise" for 2007.
"We have a positive overall index for tourism, which will probably close at around 10% up with respect to arrivals," he said.
The increase in income from tourism was expected to closely match the increase in arrivals with a slight downward deviation of a round 2% relative to arrivals, he added.
The year 2006 marked a stabilization of average length of stay, which had been dropping in recent years, while arrivals to high-class tourist accommodation increased 14% as Greece started to attract more wealthy tourists, he said.
Evangelou also pointed to a 15% rise in conference tourism and a 20% rise in marine tourism relative to 2005, while arrivals of American tourists had increased 250% over the last year as a result of new flights to Greece launched by Delta.
Source: Athens News Agency