‘Fire’ in August-September bookings

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We are already going through a very strong tourist summer and everything shows that we are going for a new big record in this year’s tourism revenues and arrivals. It will be a powerful stimulus to government coffers, needed after two years of heavy losses due to the pandemic.

The figures for the five months published by the Bank of Greece show that collections have taken off. Non-resident traveler arrivals increased by 552.9% and related receipts by 547.9% compared to 2021, representing 81.7% and 87.8% of the respective 2019 levels. Revenues, in particular, up and in May they reach 2.5 billion euros from just 387 million last year, while in May alone the receipts reached 1.41 billion, confirming the estimates of businessmen in the field that the season started with high expectations.

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Estimates for this year’s revenues have now been revised upwards, even reaching 20 billion euros, with the market seeing that tourism revenues will even exceed the record levels of 2019, when the tourist basket had entered over 18 billion euros and arrivals from abroad had exceeded 30 million.

The return of tourists

Bookings for July and August are on fire, while there is great interest in bookings for September as well. Already the big foreign tour operators are adding beds and expanding their programs, while agreements are being made with the airlines to extend the tourist season into the winter.

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Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Corfu, Santorini, Zakynthos and southern Peloponnese are already filled with foreign tourists and by August the hotels will be fully booked.

According to the South Aegean Tourism Initiative and Fraport’s official data, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini recorded a record tourist flow in the first ten days of July: Rhodes more than doubled the rate of increase recorded during the first months of the season to 18% with 173,205 passengers, compared to 146,605 in the first ten days of July 2019. The increase compared to 2019, which was a record year for Greek tourism, reaches 13% in Kos, where 83,667 tourists arrived in just ten days, from 73,766 in year before the pandemic.

Mykonos was visited by 49,713 tourists from abroad, 37% more than in the corresponding period of 2019 (36,281). Finally, Santorini more than doubled its 2019 record and achieved an increase of 62% in July with 58,071 visitors compared to 35,799 in the first ten days of July for 2019. Arrivals to the islands of the Cyclades and Dodecanese already exceed 2 million through 13,006 direct international flights at the five international airports of the South Aegean (including Karpathos) until July 10.

A million in a week

According to data included in INSET’s Recovery tracker, only in the first week of August the seats on incoming international flights amount to 973 thousand, the highest number since the beginning of this season.

Most tourists come from the UK, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria. Followed by Belgium, Israel, Poland, Cyprus and the US market.

The busiest airports, after Athens, are Heraklion, Rhodes, Corfu, Thessaloniki, Kos, Chania, Santorini and Mykonos.

Throughout July the movement was upward. 947 thousand were the positions in the second week of the month, 954 thousand in the current week and another 961 thousand positions in the following week.

“The destinations that are very high in the preferences of our visitors from abroad – after the airports of Athens and Thessaloniki – are the islands of the south-eastern Aegean and the Cyclades, Crete and Corfu. The response to the brand “Greece” is huge , not only in our traditionally popular destinations, but also in alternative destinations,” said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, reiterating that the goal is for this year’s tourist season to coincide with the end of the year, in December.

At the same time, the passenger traffic of Fraport Greece’s 14 regional airports reached 4.61 million in June, compared to 4.46 million in the corresponding month of 2019. International traffic increased by 4.6%, to 3.93 million passengers.

In the first half of the year, Fraport Greece’s airports handled 10.3 million passengers, compared to 10.92 million in the corresponding period of 2019, marking a drop of only 5.7%, showing the closing of the “scissors” in relation to 2019. International traffic decreased by 1.4% to 7.72 million passengers and domestic traffic decreased by 16.8% to 2.57 million passengers.

At the same time, the turnover of accommodation in May saw a jump, exceeding half a billion euros – 26 million more than in May 2019 – while the turnover of businesses in the catering sector increased by 40 million euros, compared to the corresponding period of 2019.

Source: Capital

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