Greece’s South Aegean Region, which includes popular islands like Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, and Kos, has broken all records this year surpassing 2019 traveler arrivals by 15 percent, the South Aegean Tourism Initiative (SATI) said this week.
According to data released on Wednesday, so far, 6 million travelers visited the region’s islands on 34,756 flights demonstrating a “strong vote of confidence in the destination”.
The Cyclades and Dodecanese islands led the way with the largest increase in international arrivals recorded on Santorini which welcomed 811,000 travelers compared to 519,000 in 2019 on board 5,700 direct flights.
Travel flows to Mykonos were up by 21 percent compared to pre-Covid 2019 to 575,000 arrivals from 475,000.
Rhodes welcomed the most tourists so far this year with 2,550,000 arrivals up by 9 percent over 2019 and 2,340,000 arrivals while 1,240,000 visitors went through the airport of Kos marking a 6 percent rise over pre-pandemic levels.
Lastly, the fifth international airport of the South Aegean on Karpathos welcomed 88,000 passengers in 2022, achieving a 100 percent increase compared to 2021, when 43,000 passengers visited the island.
Top source markets for South Aegean Region destinations are the UK, Germany and Italy, as well as the Netherlands, Poland, France and Israel.
According to SATI, demand for the South Aegean Region islands is going strong with pre-bookings showing signs of robust performance in 2023 despite inflation, the cost-of-living crisis and uncertainty of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Founded in 2020, the South Aegean Tourism Initiative is made up of local tourism, trade and hospitality professionals and their relevant associations and chambers.