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Study Explores How Russia-Ukraine War will Affect Tourism on Crete

Venetian Castle Koules Herakleion

The Venetian Castle of Koules in Herakleion, Crete. Photo Source: @Incredible Crete

A new study conducted by students of the 1st Public Institute of Vocational Training in Heraklion, Crete, explores how Russia’s war on Ukraine will affect tourism on Crete.

Based on a number of interviews with tourism enterprises active in the markets of Ukraine and Russia, as well as tourism employees, the study reveals the consequences of the ongoing war on Crete’s tourism industry.

According to its findings, at the moment there are zero bookings from these two markets for Crete mainly for two reasons:

– the ongoing conflict and migration flows have suspended tourism demand

– tourism partnerships with Russia have been suspended due to the country’s exclusion from the SWIFT, an international payment system used by financial institutions.

The study also notes that Ukraine and Russia were never among Greece’s major tourism source markets.

Meanwhile, Greece’s official position regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict was also found to have affected the intention of Russian citizens to visit the country. In fact, many Russian travel agencies are not including Greece in their holiday travel packages.

The study highlighted that this year’s cancelled trips from Ukraine and Russia have not affected Crete’s tourism market, since the island receives a large number of travelers from other countries.

Heraklion Airport, Crete

Heraklion Airport, Crete (archive photo)

Other key findings:

– hoteliers are facing major loss, not because of the drop of bookings but due to the decreasing accommodation prices

– predictions for this year’s arrivals from other countries (apart from Russia, Ukraine) appear positive

– tourism enterprises are looking into other tourism markets (results of the effort are expected to show next year)

arrivals to Crete are returning to normal despite the war initially affecting the travel intentions of people from other countries.

Titled “The impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on tourist arrivals to Crete”, the study was conducted by the students of the department of tourism units and hospitality operations of the 1st Public Institute of Vocational Training in Heraklion under the guidance of professors Stavros Papadakis and George Triantafyllou with the support of Director Michalis Grafanakis.

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