Up-and-coming online ferry ticket booking platform Ferryhopper has been seeing growing interest in trips by sea since May, even compared to tourism’s record year of 2019. However, its officials remain reserved as it is possible the Delta variant of the coronavirus could changes the landscape again this tourism season.
As the Greek startup’s product is constantly growing and its users have increased compared to 2019, Ferryhopper says this year it has already matched its turnover for the whole of 2020, and its aim is to exceed that of 2019.
Christos Spatharakis, the co-founder and chief executive officer of the company, tells Kathimerini that “we have already reached up to last year’s turnover and if all goes well we also expect to top 2019 turnover too, returning to the course we had before the pandemic.”
He adds that “in this period the rate of bookings is higher than that of 2019, which is also thanks to the fact that more Greek travelers are selecting our services.” It must be noted that the estimates regarding the course of Ferryhopper this year are slightly above the market average, as this startup is in the process of securing an ever greater market share.
Spatharakis explains that a large share of the bookings concern short-term plans, as they are last-minute bookings, a trend that has become stronger and stronger during the pandemic. “The usual destinations such as Santorini and Mykonos remain on top, but we are also seeing significantly increased interest in destinations such as Milos, Tinos and Naxos, mainly by Greeks,” he says.
As for ferry ticket demand from foreign travelers, this has so far remained subdued. Spatharakis reports that “bookings by foreigners are definitely higher than 2020, but they lag the 2019 levels.”
Despite the general climate of concern in the tourism sector due to the Delta variant, Spatharakis notes that “if the market continues to move at the pace we are currently seeing, which depends on the course of the pandemic, there is hope of an extension to the season attributed to the interest that foreign tourists have displayed.”