Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Fri April 29 2016

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  • Rich Thomaselli | April 29, 2016 5:00 PM ET

    Greece’s Tourism Never Went Away

    Greece’s Tourism Never Went Away

    Is Greek tourism back?

    Perhaps the best way to answer that question is with another question:

    Did it ever really go away?

    Despite the economic turmoil that engulfed the country last year, as well as an influx of Middle East refugees who have used the country as something of a launching pad to a new life in Europe, tourism to Greece never waned.

    And Homeric Tours, an unquestioned leader in travel to Greece, is ready to take you there.

    Tourism officials expect big growth in 2016, with expectations that numbers will grow 15-20 percent this year on top of the 26.5 million arrivals to the country in 2015 – which was just over 20 percent higher than the 22 million who visited in 2014.

    Greek Minister of Tourism Elena Kountoura told Gulf News at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai that 2016 “is definitely going to be a good year.”

    Greece has helped itself by extending the tourism season by starting earlier, in April, with special ‘early-bird’ deals and offer; facilitating alliances with other countries, particularly Russia; and, well, by good old-fashioned happenstance – turmoil in Turkey has caused hotel bookings to be down by more than half.

    “We are the best deal, we are value for money,” Kountoura said. “We are in Europe but at the same time we have prices that are affordable for every visitor.”

    Kountoura also said that, given the amount of interest from hotel operators, tourism will remain strong.

    “This year, we have 160 applications for the development of four- and five-star hotels,” she said. “The ministry of economy, development and tourism already has a new law that will give some incentives to investors. That is coming (in May).”

    Homeric Tours, which offers everything from an intimate honeymoon to a group tour, travels to 15 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, including cruises into and out of Greece and Italy. But Homeric began its business 47 years ago specializing in tours of Greece.

    Nothing has changed, almost five decades later.

    Homeric offers 42 different itineraries to Greece ranging from six-day trips and beyond, and including a mix of land and sea. And, Homeric will even customize a trip for you.

    For more information on travel to Greece, please see Homeric’s website.


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Rich Thomaselli Experts in Distinctive Travel

Rich Thomaselli Rich Thomaselli is a longtime journalist with 27 years experience in newspapers, magazines and digital media. He is a nine-time individual award-winning writer and was also a staff writer at several publications that earned national recognition as well, including Advertising Age winning a ‘Best in Business’ designation from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2007. He previously covered the travel sector for Ad Age, among other beats, from 2001-2013. Rich is married with two children. He will be based in New York. You can reach him at and contact him on Twitter @RichTravelPulse.
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