Greeks are still traveling despite the cost-of-living crisis which this week sent fuel prices to 2 euros per liter in some places as most started off on their yearly holidays.
Demand for travel in Greece and abroad is expected to be up by 20 percent in August compared the same month a year ago exceeding at the same time June and July performance, according to Greek travel agencies.
“The Greek travel market, despite the challenges on a geopolitical, economic, environmental and humanitarian level, is demonstrating significant resilience. Greek travelers are creating a very positive climate on the market with growing demand for holidays and getaways in Greece and abroad as a result of revenge travel after the pandemic,” Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist & Travel Agencies (fedHATTA) President Lysandros Tsilidis told ANA-MPA.
It should be noted that in 2022, almost 5 million Greeks made at least one trip, boosting total trips for the year by 30.2 percent to 8.3 million compared to 2021.
Top destinations for Greek travelers this summer include Italy, France (Paris), Barcelona, Scandinavian countries, the US, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.
In Greece, meanwhile, the fires on Rhodes and Corfu have put bookings on hold, which travel agents say is expected to change in August. Favorite holiday spots at home include the Ionian islands, the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, and Crete, where arrivals are set to rise by 10 percent to 6 million over 2022. According to travel agents, many Greeks chose cheaper destinations for their holidays this year, sending occupancy levels on smaller, lesser known islands to 100 percent.
So high is the demand that FedHATTA member agencies say there is now very limited hotel and airline seat availability.
Indicative of the interest, AEGEAN passenger traffic to smaller islands in the first 15 days of July increased by up to 77 percent over the same month a year ago while air traffic to Karpathos increased by 48 percent and to Leros by 42 percent. Other “outsiders” include Siteia on Crete where ferry passenger traffic was up by 139 percent, to Skyros by 137 percent and to Limnos by 46 percent.
Greek travel agencies are expected to hold a meeting this week with ECTAA (The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations) to assess market conditions.