Greeks flocking to 'traditional' Christmas destinations this year
"The very reasonable fear about the possible impact of the economic pressure on the holiday plans of the Greeks was followed by satisfaction over the highly increased interest in bookings, to the point where several areas of the country are already sold out," Zacharaki said.
She also reported strong tourist traffic in cities but also fully-booked flights to a majority of Greek destinations, with crowds visiting the Christmas theme parks, while there was also a strong trend for alternative holiday activities.
The ministry's aim is to increase absorption of the existing vouchers from the "Tourism for All" programme, as they can be used without any restriction at any accommodation in Greece, with direct payment of the tourist enterprise and without red tape, she noted.
"We believe in 12-month Greece and will continue to support infrastructure and to promote the country throughout the year," Zacharaki said.
According to the FedHatta president Lysandros Tsilidis, favorite destinations are Zagorochoria, Tzoumerka, Tria-Pente Pigadia, Drama, Trikala, Seli, Lake Plastira, Meteora, Pilio, Pertouli and Elati, as well as Arachova and the mountainous regions of the Peloponnese and Monemvasia.
Several Greeks are also opting to spend the holidays abroad, especially in Europe, while some will head to warmer climes, such as Dubai, Morocco, Turkey, India or Latin America.
One factor that has boosted bookings are the vouchers for winter tourism, though there are concerns about a slump in the period after the holidays.
Also opening are ski resorts, including that on Mount Parnassus, though the weather is not likely to permit skiing during the next few days.