Greece’s seasonality causes a major disadvantage to the country’s regional hotels and measures must be taken to lengthen the tourism season, according to a study conducted by the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP) that was presented on 15 October to the Greek media in Athens.
According to the study, commissioned by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, accommodation units in Greek regions welcome 95 percent of the country’s arrivals during the peak season of May-October. Therefore, the seasonality threatens the viability of businesses in a region.
“No matter how successful a business is, it can not survive 12 months by operating only for four or five (months),” the chamber’s president Yiorgos Tsakiris, said.
In particular, ITEP’s study showed that the Greek regions with high seasonality include the Ionian Islands, the South Aegean and Crete, as opposed to the regions of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Epirus and Attica.
The data also showed that the tourists that mainly travel during peak season come from Czech Republic, Poland, Norway, Austria, Italy and Denmark. On the other hand, travelers from Cyprus, Japan, Turkey, China, Bulgaria and the United States tend to travel during the off season months.
ITEP proposes measure to expand the tourism season
ITEP’s study includes a series of measures to lengthen the Greek tourism season, among which is the adoption of “special local seasonality agreements” between private tourism enterprises and local and regional authorities.
The deals would concern specific actions that would aim to ameliorate the effects of seasonality in the respected areas and also involve institutions, companies, tour operators, online travel agents, Google, conference organizers, cruise ships and means of transport (airlines, ferries).
The Greek Tourism Ministry is believed to be the most appropriate body to coordinate and supervise the implementation of these agreements, ITEP’s study underlined.
What else can be done
Based on the conclusions of the study, the Greek regions, mainly, have to concentrate on attracting three specific groups of inbound tourists that do not travel exclusively during the summer peak season:
– Senior tourists from both European Union and non-EU countries.
– Tourists from countries mainly outside the EU (such as China, Japan, USA and Canada), who tend to travel to destinations, such as Greece, during the off season due to various factors, such as good weather.
– Tourists that are attracted to alternative forms of tourism that could be developed off season.