Tourist arrivals in Crete are expected to approach those of 2019

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Crete, the flagship of Greek tourism, has set its sights on arrivals and revenues that will exceed the expectations of the island’s operators, whose tourism revenues in 2020 represented 20% of the country’s tourism revenues. The first indications may strengthen the voices that speak of a year directly comparable to that of 2019, the year – a record for Greek tourism, but the big question mark for the professionals of the island is what will be left in the business fund making the report as reported by the Athenian Macedonian News Agency. It is recalled that in 2019 the international air arrivals in Crete amounted to 4.4 million of which 3.3 million were recorded in Heraklion and 1.1 million in Chania.

The arrivals of foreign visitors will move to the levels of 2019 in May

Speaking to APE-MPE, the president of the Hotel Owners Association of Heraklion, Nikos Chalkiadakis, points out that the month of May will close at the levels of 2019, reaching 480,000 air arrivals. While already in April the foreign visitors of the island reached 200.00 through the two main airports of the island in Heraklion and Chania. However, at a time when the numbers of arrivals are optimistic, Mr. Chalkiadakis expresses his concern about the final result. “We do not know what will be left in the end. The revenue will be good, but the cost will be huge,” according to the union president.

In the same vein, the president of the Rethymnon Hoteliers Association, Manolis Tsakalakis, expresses his intense concern about the hotel revenues this season. Especially in Rethymno, he explains, the loss of the Russian and Ukrainian markets from the influx of tourists this year will be evident. In the meantime, he focuses on increasing the short-term lease, legal and illegal, as he notes, emphasizing that out of the 190,000 arrivals in April in Crete, 95,000 were channeled to villas and short-term rental accommodation.

Hoteliers’ Concerns Over the Bloom of Short-Term Leasing in Crete

In support of this, Mr. Chalkiadakis speaks of 30,000 airbnb type accommodations, half of which, as he notes, are illegal. At this point to emphasize that according to the data of the research company for short-term lease Airdna, collected for the period June – September 2022, Crete emerges “champion” in demand, recording an increase of 306% in the period under review.

Focusing on the financial burdens of hotels, both industry players argue that this year the cost of energy is increased by 70%, catering and beverages by 38% and labor costs by 20%. This season it is emphasized that increased salaries were given to fill the vacancies.

From April the first visitors to Platanias Chania

Regarding the prefecture of Chania and the area of ​​Platanias, the most cosmopolitan of the prefecture, through the mayor Ioannis Malandrakis it is emphasized in APE-MPE that it is ready to host the thousands of foreign visitors. Optimism for the development of the year is pervasive with the mayor stating that the season started a month ago with hotels and accommodation opening in mid-April. In fact, the occupancy rate in hotels is around 50% at this time. Of course by the end of May it is expected to reach very high levels, as estimated. Platanias has about 23,000 beds, while new large hotel units (one five-star and one four-star) have recently been added to the portfolio of the area.

Focusing on the sea front of Platanias, it was emphasized that the lifeguards are in their places, while the tourist kiosk in the central square is in full operation, which provides useful information for foreign visitors.

At the same time, for the first time this year, a process of reuse and recycling of organic waste from hotels will begin. With special vehicles and composters, the municipality wants to stimulate the environmental awareness, so that thousands of tons of organic waste do not end up in the mixed waste. Special bins will be placed in hotels and special composers in parts of the area, said Mr. Malandrakis.

Which countries are the visitors to Crete from?

Regarding the nationalities of the visitors of Crete for the next period, according to the statistical tool of Insete, Recovery Tracker reports that for May in Chania the source markets are the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Denmark , Sweden, Poland and Belgium. At the same time, visitors from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium will land at Heraklion Airport.

The hotel map of Crete

According to the latest data from Insete, the Region of Crete represents 16% of hotel units, 22% of rooms and 22% of beds in the country. It has a total of 1,638 units with 97,525 rooms and 190,714 beds. Regarding the sub-sections, it is observed that:

• The Unit of Heraklion represents 41% of the rooms of the Region with 520 units, 39,853 rooms and 79,596 beds,

• The Unit of Chania has 27% of the capacity of the Region with 576 units, 26,382 rooms and 49,568 beds,

• The Rethymnon Unit represents 18% of the capacity of the Region with 334 units, 17,654 rooms and 34,383 beds and

• The Lassithi Unit has 14% of the capacity with 208 units, 13,636 rooms and 27,167 beds.

Regarding the evolution of hotel rooms in the Region of Crete in the period 2010-2020, there was an increase to 5 star hotels (+ 54%), 4 star hotels (+ 35%) and 3 star hotels (+ 11%) and a decrease to 2 star hotels (-22%) and 1 star hotels (-19%).

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Source: Capital

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