During a visit to two of the most popular Greek islands in the Aegean; we realized that tourism in Greece may not have been in such bad shape after all.
Recent terrorist attacks and violent incidents in Athens put Greece on the forefront of the largest news headlines around the globe generating heaps of bad publicity. The truth of the matter is that the number of reservations started to decline but at the end the unfavorable events did not greatly affect tourism to Greece. The strike of the air controllers resulting in delays and cancellations of flights, and the strike of the gas truck drivers which resulted in a shortage of gasoline all around the country including the Greek Islands and other popular destinations are two factors that inconvenienced the tourists.
Fortunately, the Greeks took control of the situation and problems have been resolved. The majority of the hotels are at full capacity and the tourists are enjoying the Greek sun, culture and hospitality again. Greeks remain hopeful and expect the reputation of Greece to thrive again.
In response to the crisis, many Greeks who began to see their salaries shrink, have decided to go camping this summer season as a cheaper alternative for summer vacation.
Santorini: Still a top destination.
As the most romantic get away in the Mediterrannean, the island attracts everyone from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to low budget backpackers that come to live out their Greek fantasy and see the infamous sunset and views from the town of Oia or Imerovigli. At the moment we are pleased to report there are very few rooms left on the island. “This year is not our best, but things are way better that they are presented by the media”, said a local hotel owner.
Crete: The largest Island
The largest island of Greece which combines sea, mountains, rivers and almost every geographical variety for the likes of all tourists, felt the crisis even less. Hotels reservations have suffered a decline of only about 10%. Visitors are booking shorter stays with the average tourist staying one week to ten days compared to the usual two week periods of the previous years.
Many hotels offered discounted rates and special promotions to boost more reservations. “This year is harder, but not as hard as many thought. We do not consider it a bad year. We worked hard and the hotel is full” sa
id Nikos Perakis, General Manager of Creta Beach, one of the most popular four star hotels in Heraklion, Crete.
The picturesque beaches of Greece along with her sweet sun outlined by the
bluest sky is still adored by tourists even during these difficult times. The treasures of Greece are something tourists are not willing to give up.