Athens.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPA)
Greece has been declared as the best cruise destination in the world for 2019, in the category Port or Country, picking up the distinction at the annual Wave Awards in London last week.
This latest merit coincides with the awarding of Greece as the world’s best tourism destination and of Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura as the world’s best tourism minister, at the ITB Berlin convention last week.
Celestyal Cruises are starting as of Friday their three- and four-day cruises to the Greek islands from the port of Piraeus, with the ships Celestyal Crystal and Celestyal Olympia, both of which have undergone restoration and reconstruction at Greek shipyards.
According to the company’s schedule, the seven-day cruises will start on April 12 and conclude on January 2, 2020. This means that the tourist winter season will extend for another 8 eight weeks.
“The backbone of the company’s strategic planning remains the support of Greek enterprises and the continuous contribution to the Greek economy,” said the managing director of Celestyal Cruises Chris Theofilidis. “It is a great joy to see that our efforts to extend the tourist season have borne fruit, as demand for cruises beyond the summer months is gradually increasing, which gives us the incentive to continue even more forcefully,” he added.
Celestyal Cruises is “the main home-porting cruise operator in Greece and the preeminent cruise line serving the Greek Islands and East Mediterranean,” according to their site.
Tourism in Greece
continues to rise
Foreign tourism in Greece has marked a steady increase in recent times and continues to rise at a rate of 35%, said Panayiota Dionyssopoulou, the Tourism Ministry’s Tourism Policy General Director.
Dionyssopoulou said that Greece has managed to implement a ‘365 days of the year’ model of tourism, speaking at the 4th Tourism Convention in Thessaloniki on Thursday, which is organized by five chambers of commerce, Hellenic-American, -French, -British, -German and -Italian.
2018 was a historic year for Greek tourism, said Dionyssopoulou, adding that 2019 looks as though this industry will see a similar or even higher demand.
On her part, Voula Patoulidou, regional vice-governor of Central Macedonia and director of the Thessaloniki Tourism Organisation, said that the target is to increase hotel bookings in the city to 5 million in the next five years, compared to the 2.4 million stays recorded in the city in 2018.\\