August started dynamically in terms of tourism figures, as, despite the difficult conditions, there was a 17% increase in arrivals on the islands of the Southeastern Aegean in the first 7 days, compared to the same period in 2019, as recently stated by the Greek Tourism Minister, Mr Vassilis Kikilias. Moreover, during the weekend of August 15, religious and pilgrimage tourism have also increased in various destinations in Greece.

The last month of summer sets the tone for September, with hotels recording very good occupancy rates across Greece and foreign tourists from markets such as Germany, England and elsewhere continuing their holidays in our country in September. In the meantime, in northern Greece, the Balkans, who are the main tourists of the area, continue their holidays until mid-September, as noted by the president of the Hellenic Hoteliers Federation, Mr Grigoris Tasios, speaking to Athens – Macedonian News Agency.

At the same time, the excellent performance of tourism, as Mr Kikilias said, is also reflected in short-term rentals (Airbnb) in which, in July, August and September recorded an increase of 26.5% compared to the corresponding months of 2019.

“What we have noticed this year is that travelers were more restrained in terms of spending, due to the global developments, however all destinations are full,”  Mr Tassios stressed.

“We have also noticed high occupancy rates in destinations of Northern Greece, such as Thassos, Halkidiki, and Pieria, where for Balkan travelers the season was simply reduced from 110 days, in 2019, to 90 days” he also added.

Mass travel

“During the weekend of August 15, people travelled so as to worship in churches and to celebrate the Assumption of Mary. They mainly preferred destinations such as Syros, Patmos, Mytilene, Paros, Tinos of course, and in northern Greece Vermio, Chalkidiki etc.,” stressed Mr Lysandros Tsilidis, President of the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Travel and Tourist Agencies (FedHATTA). “In general, however, this August was full all over Greece. This year we also saw a lot of people travelling to small islands, which, in the last decade, have dynamically entered the market of tourism” Mr. Tsilidis added among other things.

In terms of organized tours, the average from the beginning of the year to date, for both domestic and international tours, reaches 65% compared to the respective of 2019, he also noted.

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