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Crete: Tourists See Chania as Safe Destination

Chania, Crete. Photo source: Visit Greece / E. Fili

Tourists see the city of Chania, located on the Greek island of Crete, as a safe destination and a possible vacation option for the near future, according to a survey conducted by the Tourism Observatory of Western Crete.

The survey took place at Chania Airport with 3,825 questionnaires and the participation of travelers that visited the island in 2021.

According to its main findings, 90 percent of tourists consider western Crete a safe destination. In addition, seven out of 10 foreign travelers said they were satisfied by the Covid-19 health protocols applied in hospitality and F&B facilities.

Visitors also appeared impressed by the overall hospitality and behavior of locals, the F&B and hospitality facilities, safety and cleanliness of beaches.

On the other hand, they expressed concerned about the lack of parking spaces and road safety infrastructure in Chania.

Mixture of nationalities changes

Meanwhile, the mixture of nationalities appeared different in 2021, compared to previous tourism seasons, with only three out of ten foreign visitors coming from Scandinavia.

German travelers ranked first in overall arrivals for the first time in several years with 17 percent. The Danish came in second place with 16 percent, while Polish travelers ranked third with 11 percent and the Brits fourth with 11 percent.

Crete, Kourna Lake. Photo Source: Visit Greece / Y. Skoulas

Tourism spending increases

Local economy benefited from increased visitor spending in 2021 compared to the previous year. According to the survey, spending increased by 14 percent and reached approximately 830 euros per trip.

In addition, travelers spent more on local agricultural products including olive oil, wine, cheese, orange juice and tsikoudia – the alcoholic beverage also known as raki.

Occupancy rates rise in 2021

Almost half of foreign visitors that arrived at Chania Airport in 2021, stayed in Chania.

Occupancy rates at the city’s hotels dropped in 2021 compared to 2019 levels but increased compared to 202o mainly due to the early start of the tourism season and the fact that both hoteliers and tourists were better prepared to follow the Covid-19 health protocols.

According to the survey, seventy percent of hotel guests stayed in four- and five-star luxury hotels.

Only 37 percent of Eastern European travelers chose all inclusive packages instead of two out of three in 2019.

A large percentage of foreign travelers – one out of four – selected short-term rentals for their stay, while demand for villas, apartments/rooms and privately owned houses – mainly in the city but also in the area of Kissamos – also increased.

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