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Crete Makes Good Impression Despite Covid-19 Impact on Arrivals

Photo Source: @Incredible Crete

The Greek island of Crete managed to win over travelers despite the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and a considerable drop in arrivals, with eight in 10 saying health protocols were satisfactory, a recently released study found.

More specifically, 130 thousand visitors traveled to Crete through Chania Airport from January to August down by 85 percent against the same period last year, according to data by Fraport Greece, the airport’s managing company.

According to the study carried out by the Western Crete Tourism Observatory, Scandinavian countries which are traditional markets for Western Crete, marked a 94 percent decline.

Chania, Crete

Chania, Crete

Arrivals from the UK (21.5 percent), Poland (16.4 percent), Germany (11.9 percent), Denmark (9.5 percent), and France (7.5 percent) made up half of the total remaining in the lead with 22 percent compared to last year.

For the first time, Poland moved into second spot as a source market for Crete, accounting for 16 percent of all arrivals, with Norwegians and Swedes accounting for 3 percent each compared to 13 percent last year.

On the down side, marking significant declines were traditional source markets for Western Crete: Finland down by 3.1 percent, Sweden down by 2.8 percent, and Norway down 2.7 percent.

The study also found an increase in the number of travelers from 30+ age groups who accounted for 31 percent of arrivals and a decline in the number of 55+ visitors.

Of those surveyed, 67 percent said they stayed at hotels, 23 percent in apartments and rooms, and 7.5 percent in a villa.

Heraklion Airport meanwhile, handled a total of 543 thousand arrivals, down by 78 percent against the same period last year, according to data by the local aviation authority for the January-August 2020 period

Photo source: Visit Greece / Y. Skoulas

Crete island. Photo source: Visit Greece / Y. Skoulas

The majority of visitors were from Germany, the UK, France and Russia, who accounted for 60 percent of total arrivals in the eight-month period.

Top destinations choices for foreign travelers to Crete this year were Elafonissos, Ballos, and Falasarna, with the number of visits to museums, archeological sites and churches/monasteries recording a significant decline.

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