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Greece's latest tourism industry news by Greek Travel Pages (gtp)

Greece Tourism Season Debuts with Over 230 Flights

More than 230 flights are scheduled to land in Greece, on Wednesday, with more than half at regional airports as the country opens to tourism four months after Covid-19 lockdowns brought global travel to a grinding halt.

According to the Hellenic Civil Aviation Administration (HCAA), Athens and Crete’s Heraklion airports are expecting the most arrivals today with 69 and 54 respectively, followed by Thessaloniki (23), Corfu (21), Chania (16), Rhodes (14), Mykonos (10), Kos (eight), Santorini (four), Skiathos, Aktio, Kefalonia, Samos (two each), and lastly, Kalamata Paros, and Karpathos (one each).

Heraklion airport welcomed its first full flight from Hannover with live traditional Cretan music. The island is expecting some 4,000 passengers today on flights from Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and Poland.

Greece is a top destination of choice among potential travelers, particularly from Germany.

Heraklion airport (archive photo)

“Every week we will monitor the tourist flows. If the first visitors who arrive are happy and feel safe, they will be our best ambassadors. We want them to be satisfied because their own positive impressions will give a further impetus,” said Heraklion Airport Manager George Pliakas, as reported by the Athens News Agency (ANA).

On Rhodes, meanwhile, one of Greece’s largest islands, travelers were welcomed with dance performances and local treats. The island is expecting tourists from Germany, Holland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic in the coming days.

Earlier today, the first passenger ferry from Italy also arrived at the port of Patra.

“We are optimistic and confident that the Greek tourist product is here and upgraded. We will be ready to act on any problem that arises,” said Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis during his inspection visit to Corfu airport as the first international flight arrived on the island. Theoharis will be visiting other airports this week.

“The tourist season will not be the same as last year. But the priorities had to be different,” he added.

Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and Greek National Tourism Organization President Angela Gerekou (left) visited Corfu on Wednesday morning.

Airports across Greece are implementing strict health protocols proceeding with screenings following bar code assessment of the mandatory Passenger Locator Form (PLF), which must be completed by all incoming passengers 48 hours before travel.

On his part, representing the country’s tourism professionals, Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos underlined the importance of safeguarding Greece’s reputation.

“We’ve entered a new phase today. With guarded optimism and realistic goals. To operate safely, to preserve the reputation and prestige of each destination, to support work and employees, to ultimately limit our losses as much as possible. Be strong,” he said via his twitter account.

“We are finally starting the summer season…The messages are positive, as there is a booking flow. Of course, it’s too early, we will have to wait to see the flows over the next few days,” said George Dimas, who heads TUI Greece.

About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.
  1. Ewa Duzinkiewicz Reply

    We will fly from Poland /Poznan/to Corfu and Then pass to Saranda/Albany/ via Igumenitsa .Where I Can cross The broker.

    • Ben Reply

      Ewa,I think you reffer at crossing the border.
      If you’ll stay in Corfu,it’s far better to reach Sarande by car/passenger ferry directly.
      There are multiple crossings,the journey is about 70 minutes(or half an hour with the fast only pessenger ferries),price apx 40 E for car and 20 per adult.
      Check ionianseaways and finikas-lines pages.

  2. Nicole Reply

    Unfortunately we have not received the QR although we completed the PLF. Are we allowed to fly from Frankfurt to Athens??!!
    Is there a hotline in Greece helping in this matter??

    • Ben Reply

      You will receive the QR code 1-2 days before your journey date wrote in the form.
      If you received the confirmation mail of form sending your job is done.
      All the process was done in a hurry,without real implementation testing.That’s why appears a lot of questions and tourist cancel their bookings in mass.
      You will not receive clear answers even if you take your time to stay 10 hours hanging on the line(if there is one).
      Have a nice trip!Go with trust in the beauty of Greece,not in the messing procedures implemented with heads in the sand.

      • Maria Theofanopoulou Reply

        Nicely said!

        • Nicole Reply

          Ben

          Thanks for your feedback.

          … but with over 20 years experience with travelling to Greece I want to be prepared and with all required and necessary details/docs on hand. If not, I will be personally be the one who will be made responsible from your employess at the airport/or security. When I explain to them that “the implementation testing couldn’t be conducted by the Greek Government/State” then the officer will surely not accept this and will have to pay with waiting until the matter solved, I will have to run from desk to desk, I will have to explain etc.
          I trust in the beauty of Greece, that is really not comparable and breakable … but I do not trust in the Greek system, especially with this “hot-shot QR code”system.
          Would be good to have your contact details in case I stuck somewhere and need someone helping/supporting/explaining if the situation demands it?!

          • Ben

            Hi Nicole!

            I am just a traveler as you who want to stay informed about the trip conditions in Greece this year.
            Also I visit this beautiful country for 20 years now 🙂
            If they were my employees some of these problems created to tourists couldn’t happen.
            From what I read,in practice from yestarday the QR code is more than optional when you are verified at custom.But in order to guarantee that you will not be in trouble it’s mandatory to have it.
            If you will not receive your QR code 48h before your flight you can make another form application and for sure you’ll receive one(this is a feedback obtained on travel forums).
            Please note that worst case scenario is to be tested if you are requiered to provide QR and you can’t.
            Have a nice vacation!Put the part with QR,tests and other things like this on bottom of your plans.

  3. Ben Reply

    Where was the Cretan music band on the arrival of Aegean Air A34211 flight landed today in Heraklion at 2 pm? In order to make a nice welcome for the 3 hours testing procedure for 200 people, included infants! All’detained’in a 50 sqm space with a very rude police attention.
    Same situation on Chania Airport.
    It seems that it’s a jointventure between authorities and big hotel owners in order to cash EU aid funds and keep tourism as low as it’s possible.
    Add that today Greece closed all northern road borders except for Promahonas.
    Who will be responsible with the loss invoice? The small greek entrepreneurs involved in tourism. The wave of cancelation s is huge… just check Booking.

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