The broader region of Ierapetra has established itself as a prominent tourist destination, leading to an increasing share of the tourist market in Crete. As September ends, the Hotel Union of Ierapetra confirms that the current tourist season, which concludes in late October or early November, has been one of the best periods for high traffic and occupancy. There is even the possibility of reaching the levels seen during the summer of 2019.
The Hotel Union of Ierapetra has reported that the average occupancy rate in the region was around 80% for September, which will remain steady until the end of the month.
Ierapetra has a lot to offer tourists, from its beautiful beaches and natural landscapes to its vibrant nightlife and attractions. Furthermore, the region has been actively promoting itself to attract more tourists, which has paid off in spades.
We’ll learn more about the outcome when the last major hotels in eastern Ierapetra close in early November after the inventories. Despite the challenges faced by European repeat visitors to Ierapetra, such as the energy crisis and significant increases in airfare prices, travelers have found that all-inclusive holidays offer more advantages, allowing them to limit their expenses as much as possible.
The increase in bookings and stays at all-inclusive hotels in Ierapetra directly results from this trend. The tourist season is thriving, with high occupancies expected until the end of October. The four largest hotels in Ierapetra will continue to welcome guests until November 7, according to the president of the Hotel Union of Ierapetra, George Vardakis.
It has been a successful tourist season, although not without challenges. All hotels in Ierapetra have experienced high demand, especially from foreign guests who have prepaid for all-inclusive packages. This has led to a significant decrease in spending outside of the hotels, with guests rarely venturing out and returning to their accommodations by 9 p.m. at the latest.
“This year, we noticed a decline in two-week holidays in Ierapetra. German tourists had the longest stays, booking 11-12 day packages, followed by the French and Poles with 8-10 day packages. We also had a notable presence of Czech tourists. Additionally, the return of Scandinavian visitors to eastern Crete, with flights now available to Sitia airport, has been significant,” added Vardakis.
Italian visitors have also made a strong impression this year, opting for independent stays in smaller hotels rather than all-inclusive options, according to Vardakis.
Investment in land and hotel renovations is on the rise. As an emerging destination, Ierapetra has attracted the interest of numerous tourism entrepreneurs and groups. Many are purchasing and renovating old hotels to enhance their services, with plans to reopen in the summer of 2024. This was seen last year in two cases in Koutsounari and Agia Fotia in Agios Ioannis and Pachia Ammoss.
Other investors are acquiring large plots of undeveloped land to construct luxury tourist villas and five-star hotels. They are also investing in real estate in picturesque areas like Kavousi, which has tremendous potential for development and can further boost tourism in the northern coastal zone of Ierapetra.