Mamma Mia Brits Jet To Greece Thanks To Hit Musical
Thursday, 02 April 2009
Months after it hit the screens, the Mamma Mia! effect is still driving British holidaymakers to book their summer holidays in Greece, low-cost airline easyJet has revealed.
Despite the recession, British tourists are heading to Greece in their droves - a rise easyJet is attributing largely to the fact that the film was shot on the Greek island of Skopelos.
Sales of flights to Athens have risen 13 per cent since the film was launched in July last year1, compared with the same period the previous year, as Brits seek an affordable way to the Greek islands to recreate magical moments from the film.
Paul Simmons, UK general manager for easyJet, said: "As well as being the oldest city in Europe with an ancient history which it's still possible to see, Athens is also the gateway to any number of island-hopping holidays.
"It has always been a favourite destination for Brits but Mamma Mia! seems to have really captured people's imagination and reignited the UK's passion for the whole of Greece - both its islands and its historic cities.
"Following the high demand for affordable flights to Athens, we are launching six new Greek routes this summer with new flights from Manchester, Bristol and Gatwick to the likes of Athens, Santorini, Corfu and Crete."
As well as being the gateway to an island-hopping break, Athens and its surrounding regions are also basking in a renaissance of their own.
A mixture of beautiful mountains, archaeological sites including Olympia and Mycenae and some of the best beaches in Greece has seen the Peloponnese region soar in popularity among tourists looking for something special off the beaten track.
Meanwhile, in Athens' itself, years of investment prompted by the return of the Summer Olympic Games to its spiritual home in 2004 are bearing fruit.
That investment has helped create a modern Athens - with its exclusive shopping districts, fine restaurants and buzzing nightlife - which has become a hotspot for tourists seeking the best in 21st Century culture.
Alongside it, the New Acropolis Museum, which is not due to open until June, has already sparked a renewed interest in the Greek capital's ancient past.
"Nowhere else in Europe can you find 3,000 years of history within a few hundreds yards of one of the most expensive shopping districts in the world and a buzzing nightlife," added Mr Simmons.
"Despite the strength of the Euro against the Pound, the relatively low cost of living in Greece is making the country one of the affordable holiday gems of the recession."
easyJet flies from Luton and Gatwick to Athens from £33.99 (one way including taxes). Flights from Manchester are due to launch in May, while flights from Manchester and Bristol to Corfu, and from Gatwick to Santorini and Mykonos are all due to launch during the summer.
1 Based on sales of flights from London Gatwick and London Luton to Athens between July 2008 and February 2009, compared with the same period 2007-'08.
Notes to editors
easyJet is Europe's leading low-fares airline, currently operating 171 aircraft on 416 routes between 110 airports in 27 countries. easyJet carried 45 million passengers in the past 12 months.
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