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Crete Expecting August Tourism at Full Capacity

Matala Beach, Heraklion, Crete. Photo source: Visit Greece / Y. Skoulas

Matala Beach, Heraklion, Crete. Photo source: Visit Greece / Y. Skoulas

Despite Covid-19 restraints, travelers are still selecting Crete for their summer holidays, according to island hoteliers who are forecasting that August occupancy may even reach 100 percent in certain areas.

Leading source market for Greece’s second largest island is Germany, said Heraklio Hoteliers Association President Nikos Chalkiadakis, which marked a 9 percent rise in the number of arrivals in July to 165,000 against the same month in 2019.

“We have about 15,000 arrivals on weekdays at Heraklion Airport and 25,000 on weekends from main markets Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Poland, Austria, etc,” said Chalkiadakis speaking to Cretalive.gr.

Referring to lockdown-style measures on the island, and particularly in Rethymno, Chania and Heraklion, which were extended to September 1, Chalkiadakis said there seemed to be no impact on traveler interest. 

“August is currently 90 percent full, even 100 percent, with a good booking flow for September,” he said. “Restrictive measures on Crete – for the time being… given that the situation remains volatile – we do not see a significant impact except for some tourists from the UK or the Netherlands, younger, who may prefer other destinations especially for the nightlife,” he added.

Chania, Crete. Photo Source: Visit Greece

Echoing Chalkiadakis, Chania Hotels Association President Emmanuel Giannoulis agrees that vacationers from Europe appear to be largely unaffected by the restrictions.

Despite initial indications of 50 percent occupancy levels in July, we’re seeing August achieve 85 percent in the Chania prefecture, he said.

Citing available booking data, Giannoulis said September has so far reached 45-50 percent occupancy levels and that provided Covid doesn’t get out of control, he expects an increase in last-minute bookings.

With regard to markets supporting Chania, Giannoulis pointed to Poland, the Czech Republic and France.

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