Greece (EU1000) is encouraging visitors to pair a city break with a day or two’s skiing this winter. Few realise that the country has a number of ski resorts within easy travelling distance of its two main cities.
“People can forget that the Greek mainland is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe – we have 19 ski resorts and many of them are close to Athens or Thessaloniki,” said Emy Anagnostopoulou, the Greek National Tourism Organisation’s UK & Ireland Office Director.
The country’s largest resort is Arachova, close to Delphi, in Central Greece which boasts more than 20 pistes.
“Just as Mykonos attracts the high-end market in summer, so Arachova is the winter Mykonos,” said Anagnostopoulou. “You can visit Athens on a city break, have two or three excellent days’ skiing at Mount Parnassos and enjoy the area’s great gastronomy as well.”
The growing number of flight options also means Greece is expanding its tourism at the ‘shoulder’ months at the beginning and end of the summer season with a new range of soft adventure options.
Many regions and islands in Greece – including Andros and Tinos – are using their mountainous territory to develop and further promote walking trails to attract visitors outside the traditional summer months.
“The increased flight capacity means Greece is not just a summer destination, but also one that is attractive in spring and autumn,” added Anagnostopoulou.
International arrivals to Greece are set to grow for the fifth consecutive year.
“We are expecting a 15% global increase in arrivals and we expect to exceed our target of 32 million international visitors this year,” she said.
“In the UK, we are 10.4% up to date and 10 % up on pre-sale from the UK for next year”.
The Greek National Tourism Organisation is once again the sponsor of the WTM London International Media Centre.
WTM Portfolio, Press & PR Manager, Paul Nelson, said: “We are delighted to once again have the Greek National Tourist Board as the sponsor of the WTM London International Media Centre.
“Greece is known for its picturesque beaches and beautiful islands making it one of the most popular destination summer destinations in Europe. However, Greece is more than just a summer sun destination, with exciting new routes opening up the country is a 365-day a year destinations with a diverse offering of holiday choices including skiing.”