US journalists and bloggers visited the islands of Rhodes and Kos as well as smaller islands of the Dodecanese complex. The trip was organized by the office of the National Tourism Organisation in New York and Canada and the tourism organization of the Dodecanese in an effort to increase tourist arrivals from the US. GNTO’s regional director, Gretta Kamaterou accompanied the journalists and bloggers, representing high-circulation print media and popular websites and blogs that are highly appealing to the US audience, such as travelrave.me, Message Magazine, Uptown Magazine, Roosevelt Island Daily, Livid Magazine and Lifestyle & Society magazine.
During their five-day stay in Rhodes, they had the opportunity to experience the authentic island hospitality, the beauty, culture and gastronomy of the island. They also made day trips to the island of Halki, Symi and Alimia.
After completing their visit to Rhodes, the journalists went to the island of Kos where they visited archaeological sites and monuments and watched a representation of the ceremony of the Hippocratic Oath at the Asklepion.
“The US tourism market presents many opportunities and great prospects for our islands”, said Marietta Papavasileiou, Vice Governor of Tourism for the Region of South Aegean, adding that arrivals from the US to Greece recorded an increase in the first quarter of 2016.
“We have laid the foundations to approach the specific market and our efforts will continue methodically and targeted”, she said.
Tourist arrivals rose significantly on the island of Rhodes in June, according to data of “Diagoras” airport.
A total of 345,996 tourists arrived by charter flights last month compared to 316,981 tourists the previous year, up 9.15 percent.
The higher increase was recorded in arrivals from Britain (22.63 pct), Germany (11.68 pct), Sweden (15.74 pct), Russia (15 pct) and Israel (59.32 pct).
Despite good predictions, Tourist arrivals fell 6.2 pct in the first quarter of 2016 to 1,620,971, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Friday.
In a report, based on border control figures collected by the Bank of Greece, the statistics service said that tourist arrivals from Europe (which accounts for 82.9 pct of arrivals) fell 4.9 pct in the January-March period, with arrivals from the EU falling by 9.3 pct. Tourist arrivals from Bulgaria fell 23.6 pct, from Romania 36.8 pct and Italy 25.8 pct, while arrivals grew from Albania (31.7 pct), Belgium (492.2 pct), Russia (134.9 pct) and Poland (69.2 pct).
Bulgaria had the biggest share in tourist arrivals from Europe (20.3 pct), followed by FYROM (11.7 pct), Albania (9.1 pct), Germany (7.2 pct) and the UK (6.6 pct).
Tourist arrivals from Turkey fell 46.6 pct.
According to Andreas Andreadis, President of SETA arrivals by air to Greece during the first half of 2016 were 5,9 million (+260.000 from 2015 (+5%)) But the arrivals by ground transportation were 4,2 million (-320.000 from 2015 (-7%)).