TUI forecasts record tourist demand for Greece this year

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ATHENS, July 10 (Reuters) – Holiday group TUI expects the highest level of demand for Greece on record this year, its director of Communications Aage Duenhaupt told Athens news agency on Sunday.

Tourism accounts for about 20% of Greece’s gross domestic product and has a crucial role in helping the economy to emerge from a decade-long debt crisis followed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Greece is again this summer one of the most popular holiday destinations. We expect the highest level of demand ever,” Duenhaupt said.

“In total the group is expected to bring around 3 million holidaymakers to Greece. A higher number of visitors than before the pandemic, when it was 2.8 million,” he added.

TUI  has said it expects to become profitable again in 2022 as countries have lifted restrictions on movement. 

Greek officials have said they expect the sector to bring in 80% of the record 18 billion euros ($18.33 billion) of revenues generated in 2019, before the pandemic, on the basis of 33 million arrivals, compared with the 14 million visitors from abroad last year.

They could face disruption, however, as strikes and staff shortages have forced thousands of flight cancellations across Europe. 

($1 = 0.9820 euros)

(Reporting Lefteris Papadimas; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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