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South Aegean Islands Beat October 2019 Tourist Traffic Levels

Greece’s South Aegean Region, which includes popular islands such as Rhodes, Kos and Mykonos, has made 2021 a recovery year exceeding pre-pandemic 2019 tourist traffic levels this month. 

More specifically, according to international direct flight data released by the South Aegean Tourism Initiative, the region’s five main airports are expected in October to surpass 2019 levels for the same month.

So far, the airports of Rhodes and Kos have achieved more than 80 percent of 2019 levels, Mykonos has recorded 64 percent, while Santorini already exceeded total October 2019 levels on October 17 this year.

The association notes that tourism performance during the ongoing pandemic demonstrates the resilience of the region and the success of its tourism strategy. 

Overall, through to October 17, the South Aegean Region islands welcomed a total of 300,000 visitors compared to 357,608 international arrivals on October 31, 2019. 

Winners this year were the smaller, lesser-known Greek islands such as Kastellorizo, Lipsi, and Halki which overdid 2019 tourist traffic levels. Indicatively, Kastellorizo achieved 80 percent occupancy levels for October. 

Cumulatively, the South Aegean Region which includes the Dodecanese and Cyclades islands, has welcomed 3.17 million international visitors this year since May, when Greece opened to tourists.

The South Aegean Tourism Initiative expects this year’s upward trend to continue into November.

Established in January 2021 by the regions governor, George Hatzimarkos, the South Aegean Tourism Initiative is a body made up of tourism, trade and hotel stakeholders and their relevant associations and chambers

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