Greece Visitor Numbers Up During Holiday Season
Traditional winter destinations across Greece saw a significant rise in arrivals during the Christmas and New Year holidays, with hotel occupancy rates in some of the country’s mountainous regions reaching 100 percent, according to tourism professionals.
Speaking to Naftemporiki newspaper, the president of the Magnesia Hoteliers Association George Zafiris said hotels on Mount Pelion were fully booked, while other destinations in the region saw the number of tourists significantly increasing compared to the previous year.
Arrivals were also up in Western Greece, mainly due a rise in domestic tourism. The new Olympia highway, currently connecting Athens and Patra, has contributed to the increase of travelers, tourism experts say. “Hotels in and around Patra showed increased occupancy rates, due to their proximity to popular destinations such as Kalavryta,” the president of the Association of Tourist Agencies of Western Greece Giorgos Telonis told Naftemporiki.
Furthermore, hotel occupancy rates reached 75 percent in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, during the Christmas holidays and 90 percent during the New Year holidays. Speaking to the Athens-Macedonia News Agency (AMNA), the presindent of the Thessaloniki Hotels Association Andreas Mandrinos said 50 percent of travelers were Greeks from the northern part of the country, while the rest came from the Balkan countries and Turkey.
Moreover, destinations in eastern Macedonia, such as Kavala and Drama, also experienced a rise in incoming tourism with hotel occupancy at 90 percent. As Antonis Mitzalis president of the Kavala Hoteliers Association told AMNA, these destinations received visitors mostly from Bulgaria and Turkey, as well as many Greeks.