Greece is back (but look at the last line for a worrying trend).
Greece is making a big comeback, according to the latest trends update from Thomas Cook.
The destination has climbed from the third most popular destination to the second in the operator's latest Holiday Monitor.
Sales, marketing and e-commerce director Mike Hoban said: "Greece looks to be making a really strong comeback this year with online and offline enquiries significantly up on last month.
Searches for Santorini have doubled as have those for our specialist Greek tour operator, Manos, and other Greek islands including Crete and Zakynthos.
"As people put a holiday abroad at the top of their shopping list, it appears to be stalwart favourites, like Greece, that are in high demand this year. Our customers are moving back to tried and tested destinations they've visited previously, whether they're looking for an authentic Greek experience or a value for money all-inclusive hotel with great facilities but still in a beautiful location.
January is traditionally the busiest single month for summer holiday bookings, particularly the family market and early booking indications to Greece are very positive with some of our members reporting booking levels not seen since 2009. However, if bookings are to hold strong it is essential that Greek suppliers do not respond to these positive signs, as they have in past years, by increasing prices."
The survey of Thomas Cook customers also found:
- 47% said a holiday would be their most important purchase this year
- Over 32 million searches have been made on Thomascook.com so far this year
- 50% of all Thomas Cook's charter packages sold in 2012 were all-inclusive.
This is perhaps the most worrying part of the article, It is all very well to have tourism, and we greatly appreciate all visitors, but the charm of Greece has always been in its family businesses - small tavernas on the beach where granny grills fish, local bars where you meet other travellers and the locals instead of drinking warm beer from plastic cups all inclusive style, interesting local shops instead of bland hotel gift shops. Greece is all about making discoveries for yourself; there is no need to come here AI, we have accommodation and facilities to suit all people, on all budgets; this is the way Greece captures peoples hearts and these people in their turn are the heart of our tourism.