After a rather unsatisfactory beginning of the tourist season, its end is assessed much better. August was very good, and the number of foreign tourist arrivals to popular destinations in Greece planned for September is higher than that recorded last year.
The increase in bookings for planes departing in September to international airports in Greece is already 7.3% compared to last year. If everything goes as expected, another 4 million foreign tourists will visit Greece in September.
The biggest increase in arrivals in September was recorded by Thessaloniki airport, which recorded an increase of 19.9% compared to September last year. In second place is Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos airport, where the number of arrivals increased by 15.4%.
After an initial decline in bookings due to the European financial crisis and high inflation, the season will ultimately be considered a success. However, based on statistical data, it can be said that it has several specific features.
A decrease in the number of accommodation reservations was recorded by five-star hotels, but a dynamic increase in reservations was recorded in lower category facilities. If guests chose hotels, they also chose the All Inclusive option. The demand for short-term rentals is constantly growing. Hoteliers are increasingly noticing that more and more people do not want to spend their holidays in a hotel that can accommodate 500-1000 people. The number of people who are looking for places where they can spend their holidays in greater peace is constantly increasing. However, even in the case of short-term rentals, the average length of stay of guests has been significantly reduced. This season, the average length of stay was 8 days, while last year it was two weeks.
Bookings are still at a high level in September. In the areas of Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Zakynthos, Athens and the Cyclades, hotel occupancy reaches 85-90%. At the same time, another category of guests chooses to spend their holidays at the end of the season. The number of vacationing families is limited, and more older people come here. At the same time, many tourist entrepreneurs focus their attention on October, a month that may help cover the losses that occurred in April and May. Currently, however, plane reservations do not exceed 50%. Some tour operators also announce arrivals in November, but their implementation is currently in doubt.
What the industry can no longer overlook when planning future seasons are the effects of climate change, which may have a very specific impact on tourism in the future. Long-lasting heatwaves, if they start to repeat every year or become longer, may eventually discourage some people from vacationing in Greece. Perhaps, in some time, July and August will become a less popular time for vacation, and the season will be extended to November, when the temperatures are much friendlier. As you can see, the weather is another element of the tourist puzzle that influences the course of the holiday season.