Greece’s Tourism Minister Vasilis Kikilias told attendees of the Olympia Forum II this week, that hotel occupancy numbers to Rhodes and Crete reached 65 percent in September. Read until the end for your daily dose.
Kikilias also said the numbers show the government’s success in achieving an extended tourism demand beyond summer. He cited booking data and agreements with companies, before predicting that November will also show positive gains. Kikilias showed the conference the governments “holistic approach” that focuses on sustainability so the Greek tourism product will be maintained.
Then, the new tourism boss reiterated how tourism is the engine that drives the Greek economy. He insisted that a key goal should be to elevate standards, seek longer stays at more luxurious hotels, and to increase further the level of spending by tourists.
Then, in the next breath, Kikilias blew everything he said previously out of the water. The minister had to bring up agreements with the likes of TUI, Jet2, Easy Jet, Air France and Transavia, for services to Greek destinations beyond the summer and starting earlier next year. And we know TUI is not forcing its budget conscious customers to drop more money in Crete or Rhodes on suvlakis. Let me show you.
I did a quick search of TUI in the UK with Crete as my destination. The most extravagant price I could find quickly was £850.09 per person at the Euphoria Resort near Chania. Now, let’s think about how these precious pounds are distributed. Besides airfare from the British Isles, the person gets breakfast, lunch, and dinner, snacks, and drinks included. You tavern owners there in beautiful Kolymvari are already feeling me, aren’t you?
Your pool view room with balcony is equipped with all the essentials. You even get bathrobes, so buying a colorful puffy one from a Cretan vendor won’t be necessary. You stay in Incredible Crete for a whole week, filled to the brim with plenty of wholesome buffet food, gallons of beer and booze, and the cheapest fare these brow beaten TUI partners can squeeze out of their kitchens. (Don’t argue, I have friends who are chefs on Crete)
Please don’t read Euphoria’s texts on their website, you’ll have nightmares about your English grammar teacher from grade school. Just imagine, if a TUI resort serving Brits cannot afford texts writing in native English, just how perfect is that moussaka going to be? Oh, wait! I may be mistaken, this resort won TUI’s Nordic guest award in 2020. That explains a lot. Anyway, now imagine the cheapest deal on TUI’s site. Yeah. Retail sales at the beaches just plummeted. Don’t worry though, if all the local village vendors go out of business, guests at these all-inclusive resorts can shop without getting our of reach of their umbrella drinks. Euphoria Resort’s “Ninetyone store is your place to shop for your summer vacation.”
I’ll lay of this and other all-inclusives on Crete for now. The point is, Kikilias and his boss could care less about sustainability, or premium travel to Crete or Rhodes. Greece, for those who have not quite got it yet, is the “Florida” of the EU, a German colony since the economic disaster. Read the literature, don’t believe me. Now, the question is, “Can Greece sustain under expanded touristic pressure?” They have a holistic approach, alright. How come there were no deals struck with Wilderness Travel, one of the world’s premier experience travel companies?
Right here I’ll just insert a cordial “Ahem” for Mr. Kikilias.