Data compiled by Kathimerini has revealed that tourist arrivals up until mid-August indicate a tourism recovery on the order of 40%. However, the report also warns that the Delta variant of the coronavirus may cause a downward spike for September and October arrivals.
According to the data, international arrivals to principal tourist destinations such as the Cyclades, Dodecanese, and Ionian islands, as well as Crete, are at about 44% of the 2019 levels. These figures are also 50% higher than 2020, the year of the first, strictest lockdown, from March until June.
Overall arrivals for the first half of August stood at 81% of 2019. Some destinations are doing even better, according to the data. For example, Santorini sees traffic greater than in 2019. However, since Greece was colored red on the EU map, cancellations warn of a big dropoff.
Brand Greece is the most important factor where late and off-season travel to the country is concerned. Traveler perception of the relative safety of visiting Greece weighed against the pent-up demand of Greece vacations, determining the success or failure of tourism marketing Greece. The Instagram from Mykonos below was posted about half an hour ago, showing a bit of the cavalier attitude some travelers there have.
German, Polish, Italian, French, and UK arrivals have been key so far. Two days ago, German officials labeled Crete and other Greece destinations “high risk” due to elevated COVID numbers. Earlier this month, the U.S. issued a warning for travel to Greece.
The latest COVID numbers (PDF) from Greece officials reported 3,191 new cases and 23 new fatalities associated with the disease. Mykonos island and other destinations are still showing very high case incidence rates. Officials lifted most restrictions on the famous party island, the center of a big spike some weeks back. Santorini, Naxos, and others don’t seem to be slowing.