Kalamata Airport has managed over the last eight years to quadruple tourist traffic to the Peloponnese. That was stated by the region’s governor Petros Tatoulis this week during the 8th Tourism School event in Kalamata.
Addressing some 1,200 tourism students, Mr. Tatoulis underlined the significant role of the airport in boosting tourism to the region.
“In 2011, the international airport of Kalamata handled 64,653 passengers. The figure reached 279,808 in 2017” said Mr. Tatoulis, attributing the increase to the regional authority’s agreements with foreign and domestic airlines. The airport is now linking the central Peloponnese town of Kalamata with 30 European destinations. The list of international destinations includes Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Birmingham, Munich, Dusseldorf, Stockholm, Paris, Vienna, London, Tel Aviv, Prague, Lille, Moscow, Manchester, Copenhagen, Lyon, Stuttgart, Bristol, Bucharest, Hannover, Brussels Zurich, and Innsbruck.
Domestic Tourism decline
Since the beginning of the crisis, domestic tourism was reduced by 70%. Regional authorities’ explored ways to attract international tourism as Mr. Tatoulis said. These were boosting source markets such as Italy, the UK, Germany, France, and the Scandinavian countries, as well as Russia.
According to Mr. Tatoulis, in the first nine months of 2018, inbound traffic through Kalamata Airport came to 117.298 compared to 112.324 a year ago.
Incoming traffic through Kalamata Airport increased in 2017 to 276.725 passengers against 227.980 in 2016. Also, flights were increased to 3.319 flights against 2.684 for the same period. At the same time, incoming tourist flows stimulated Messinia hotel capacity which was up to 38,2% in 2017 compared to 32,4% in 2011.
The number of overnight stays in 2017 came to 836.676 against 555.159 in 2011. Furthermore, bed capacity in Messinia grew from 9.440 in 2011 to 10.261 in 2017.
Expansion and construction
Meanwhile, last week, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Mr. Christos Spirtzis announced that the airport of Kalamata would be next in line for upgrade works. The Greek government set to issue a call for tenders in the immediate future.