TUI CFO sees local tourism at 75% in 2019
Greece has become a leading tourist destination in Europe and this year the demand for vacations in this country will be very high, possibly higher than that of Spain, according to Sebastian Ebel, chief financial officer and member of the board of administration of TUI Group, the largest tour in Europe. operator.
Ebel spoke with Kathimerini aboard the Mein Schiff 5, a 12-deck cruise liner that launched cruises last Friday from Iraklio, Crete, with more than 1,000 passengers. Looking at the blue horizon from the ship’s deck 5 at Heraklion port, Ebel was particularly optimistic about the tourist season in Greece, saying it will triple its activity compared to 2020 during the summer months. and, overall, will recover 75% of 2019 activity. If these figures prove to be correct, they will be well above the target of the Greek government and even the most optimistic estimates.
âI think Greece and Spain will be the top two tourist destinations in Europe this year. I don’t know who will be at the top in absolute numbers of travelers, but you realize that it will also depend on the hotel capacity offered, âhe told Kathimerini. “However, I am convinced that Greece will benefit from the general conditions, as well as the positive atmosphere created around them.”
Having been for years the director of TUI‘s hotel and cruise tourism activities, Ebel is an expert in European tourism. He argues that the tourist season could extend until October and possibly also early November this year and adds that his group will be launching this summer in Greece with all the guns. âWe will open all the hotel units that we own or manage in Greece. We will open everything. They will not all open at the same time, but they will all open eventually. The situation will be completely normal, unlike last year. A lot of people might think we are opening late, but we never started until May, âhe said.
As for the future, he sees significant changes in the tourism product. âThe way people buy their packages will change and what they get will be more personalized, with experiences such as horseback riding, wine tasting, etc.,â notes Ebel.
âThis activity is still in the preparation stage in Greece for us, but it will soon start to develop widely,â adds the executive of TUI.