Following an impressive increase in arrivals to Greece in 2013, the interest expressed this year for bookings at the country’s rural guesthouses point to even better tourist numbers for 2014, according to the Greek network of rural accommodation, Guest Inn.
In an announcement, Guest Inn said that for the 2014 season, international tourists began to show an interest to travel to Greece earlier than usual. “The first inquiries and reservations made by individual guests began in October 2013 and that continued at an increasing pace in the following months,” Guest Inn said.
According to the data, Crete appears to be the most popular destination followed by the Peloponnese. Also, Guest Inn has noticed a significant increase of bookings in Greek rural accommodations from the French market.
Guest Inn noted that while 2013 was the year of a “restart for organized mass tourism,” this year appears to be the first year of stabilization and growth.
“Guests in search of something different are returning and this steadily boosts reservations in small quality accommodations (guesthouses) and increases the quality of tourism in our country,” Guest Inn’s announcement read.
The network also informed that following the last three “crisis” years, owners of small Greek guesthouses were now focusing on promoting their product through thematic forms of tourism to reach more targeted markets that refer mainly to quality customers.
Guest Inn network
Established in 2004, today the Guest Inn network has 200 accommodations-members in destinations throughout Greece such as Crete, Milos, Naxos, Zakynthos, Drama, Zagori, Prespes, Andros, Santorini, Kastelorizo, Symi, Kalymnos, Thassos, Skyros, Alonissos and Evia.
The Guest Inn concept applies to travelers who are in search of a unique holiday; to those who appreciate the natural countryside and its beautiful landscapes; and to those who are drawn to the adventure of discovering new places and people – away from “the madding crowds” of tourists.
Over the past year, Guest Inn has welcomed agritourism accommodation owners in its network. The owners of these establishments are also small producers of vegetables, fruits, potatoes, wines etc, and aim offer tourists a whole new experience in Greece: Visitors not only get a chance to test local products but, if they wish, can also participate in the collection process of production as part of their holiday experience.
Guest Inn is a member of the European Federation of Farm and Village Tourism since 2004. The EuroGites federation includes another 24 similar rural networks all over Europe, like Gîtes de France, Farm stay UK or Farm Holidays in Austria, and its aim is to promote the European rural tourism all over the world.