Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis and Aegean Airlines Vice President Eftychios Vassilakis held a joint press conference last week to emphasize their collaboration in bringing tourism to the city.
Athens showed an 8 percent increase in tourism, rising from 4.2 million people to 4.6 million between 2015 and 2016, according to a press release. During the first quarter of this year, the numbers continue to rise, with a 14 percent increase in arrivals at the Athens International Airport.
“Tourism is the main pillar of our economy, both for Athens and the country as a whole," Kaminis said in the release. "But, in order for it to work, we need synergies and partnerships. Since 2012, the number of tourists in Athens has increased by 2 million. Athens combines all the necessary conditions to become a unique standalone destination for the entire year. In these times of instability and uncertainty, Athens is a city of democracy, open to innovation and dialogue, hospitable and peaceful.”
Vassilakis focused on the growth of Aegean Airlines, with the creation of 1,000 new jobs, purchase of 16 new aircraft and the expansion of its destinations, according to the release. Since 2016, Aegean Airlines has connected Athens to an additional nine countries and 21 destinations, for a total of 71 destinations across 41 countries. The airline has seen a 50 percent increase in passenger traffic overall.