Even though the Greeks have their hassles with an untrustworthy economy and the EU, they can be happy that Danish tourists will not forsake them in a difficult time. Quite the opposite. After the number of Danish tourists fell to 228 618 in 2012 - the lowest in 10 years - it rose to 255 095 in 2014, compared to 239 159 in 2013. Last year, 128 532 people traveled from Copenhagen, 91 873 from Billund, and 26 529 from Aalborg.
Many things indicate that the number of visitors will increase further this year. - And it is especially the small Greek islands that will experience a boom. The number of visitors to the Preveza destinations Parga, Paleros and Lefkas were almost doubled last year. After some years in which the Danes were uncertain of whether they could draw Euro in the ATMs, and whether there was enough food available, they are once again ready to visit the tavernas with the blue, checked tablecloths, the small family-run hotels, the Ouzo and the Greek salad, says Spies Communications Manager at Spies, Torben Andersen.
The five most popular Greek destinations for Danes are all islands. The visitor numbers for 2014 looked like this (the collective numbers are travelers from all Danish airports):
1. Crete: 104 979. Copenhagen: 46 461. Billund: 41 754 (2013: 102 596)*
2. Rhodes: 61 187. Copenhagen: 29 534. Billund: 25 531 (2013: 60 720)*
3. Kos: 17 329. Copenhagen: 10 602. Billund: 5 529 (2013: 15 109)*
4. Samos: 11 026. Copenhagen: 5196. Billund: 5055 (2013: 8665)*
5. Preveza (Parga, Paleros, Lefkas, etc.): 10 526 Copenhagen: 6196. Billund: 4330 (2013: 6120)*
The subsequent places on the Danes' Greek holiday hit-list include Lesbos (Mytilini) with 6593 visitors in 2014 and Skiathos-Skopelos with 6014.
Morten Stausholm has been Manager at Spies in Chania on Crete since 2001. - Greece's saving grace is filoxenia - guest hospitality. Summer is knocking on the door - we receive the first guests on 23 April. And after a winter characterised by economic unrest, parliamentary elections and general frustrations, the summer season is on its way as a welcome ray of hope. The Danes are held in particular fondness by the Greeks - I am not sure if it hails back to our close royal relations, or if it is due to the pleasant manner in which the Danes visit, says Morten Stausholm.
*) Source: The Danish Transport Authority
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Read more about Spies’ trips to Greece here: http://www.spies.dk/graekenland.
Further information: Communications Manager Torben Andersen, tel. +45 40 59 47 00.
Spies is Denmark's largest travel agent. The company is included in the Nordic travel group, Thomas Cook Northern Europe, together with the travel agents Ving in Norway and Sweden, Tjäreborg in Finland, as well as the hotel group, Resorts & Hotels, that runs hotel chains, including Sunwing Family Resorts and Sunprime Hotels. Spies' guests preferably fly with the sister company, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia. Thomas Cook Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and the company's approx. 27 000 employees operate in over 70 countries. Thomas Cook Group Airlines, which includes Condor in Germany, Thomas Cook Airlines in Great Britain, and Thomas Cook Airlines in Belgium, is Europe's 11th largest airline company with 90 modern and environmentally friendly aeroplanes.