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Crete to ‘Star’ in Greece’s Upcoming Campaign for Sustainable Tourism

Greece’s next tourism campaign, which will be sustainability-focused, will center around the island of Crete in its first phase, according to Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias.

Speaking on OPEN TV on Thursday, the minister, who is on an official visit on Crete, referred to Greece’s ambitious goal of extending the tourism season to twelve months a year.

“Crete has all it needs to become a twelve-month tourism destination,” Kikilias said, announcing that the ministry’s next promotional campaign will focus on sustainable tourism and will initially promote the Greek island as an all year round sustainable tourism destination.

Highlighting the popularity Crete, the minister referred to the strong performance of tourist arrivals in the city of Heraklion, which he said in June exceeded half a million.

“In June, arrivals to Heraklion reached 597,800, with arrivals from Germany registering a 14.16 percent increase; from the UK a 14.17 percent increase; and from Austria a 26 percent increase compared to June 2019,” he informed.

Citing official data, Kikilias said that the latest figures show that 16,000 travelers arrive on Crete every day, a number that rises to 27,000 during the weekend.

Crete, Heraklion, Venetian Harbor. Photo © GNTO/Y.Skoulas

Crete, Heraklion, Venetian Harbor. Photo © GNTO/Y.Skoulas

The minister added that the amount of people that arrive every day in Heraklion can almost fill a football stadium.

“We all understand what these figures mean for the economy, the business world and primary production. This is how we balance the losses from the Russian tourist market. And I’m very happy to see full shops during my visit on Crete,” Kikilias noted.

Moreover, during the interview, the Greek minister referred to the comparative advantages of Greece’s alternative destinations and spoke about the efforts that have been made to showcase as many lesser-known – up to now – destinations throughout the country as possible.

In addition, the minister announced that the annual “Tourism for All” scheme that subsidizes holidays for lower income Greeks and their families would be accepting applications here as of Saturday, July 16.

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  1. Tom & Christina Reply

    Couldn’t agree more – Stayed in Elounda (Article Photo) over March-April in 1980 and had a wonderful time; weather very similar to an English summer, some rain but more than enough warm sunshine for sun bathing and even swimming in the sea. Elounda at that time was still relatively unknown to the mass tourism market – just a few tavernas and the local Kafeneon.
    Greek Orthodox Easter was celebrated when we there and lives long in the memories.
    Year round tourism in Crete developed in a properly managed and sustainable manner would also be a great asset to the local populace who presently have to work virtually full time for 6/7 months and end up exhausted at the end of the holiday season.

    • Irini Reply

      You do not know what you are talking about, as you do not live in Crete & your visit here was in 1980. Tourists already come here all year, just in lesser numbers outside the main tourist season, when direct flights from the UK & other countries are not usually possible, so people come via Athens or another airport in Greece. The people who work more than 1.5 x full-time hours, compared to UK standards, all through the current length of the main tourism season for low pay will end up having to work the same routine all year. And they will still struggle to pay their rent, since Air B&B has forced ordinary residential rent prices to more than double over the last few years, with greedy landlords wanting to charge hotel rates for grotty little rooms and often evading paying the taxes that even the lowest paid workers must pay. The health of the workers will be even more compromised, i.e. their health will be even more damaged and they will be even more stressed and exhausted, without even a much-needed break to recuperate in. That is not a sustainable lifestyle for ordinary residents and workers, only for some business and property owners to sustain and increase their bank balances. What about the fact that there are already sometimes water shortages during the peak of the main tourist season and the water supply to domestic taps is shut off with no warning and no way to know when it will come back on, due to tourists wasting a lot of water by having too many & too long showers, too many swimming pools, etc.? How many tourists remember that this is an island with a limited water supply? How many tourists consider just using a flannel to wash from a basin to save water? What about the fact that we may have our electricity usage rationed here soon? What about the fact that agriculture and supply chains are being destroyed and food shortages are coming, here & everywhere else? Already there are limitations on how much of certain foods we can buy in supermarkets, other food shops & online shops. What about the fact that it is planned to reduce the number of flights & close down most airports worldwide over the next few years? Life here is not one long holiday for the majority of the people who live here, far from it, life is becoming more difficult, stressful and expensive every day.

  2. Carl+Simpson Reply

    It’s took a pandemic to finally make the government do something that should have been done thirty to forty years ago all year round tourism.

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