Trips by Greeks to popular holiday destinations at home this June, July and August are up 10 percent on the same period last year, while visits to foreign countries have risen 20 percent, data compiled by the Federation of the Hellenic Associations of Travel and Tourist Agencies have shown.
According to the data pooled from FedHATTA’s members, the most popular domestic destinations among Greeks this summer are the islands of the southern and northern Aegean, the Ionian islands, Crete and the Peloponnese.
When it comes to heading abroad, Greeks seem to currently prefer France, Italy, and Central and Northern Europe, while a few long-haul destinations in Southeast Asia and South America are also popular, as well as Japan and Cuba.
Travel agents attribute the 20 percent rise in overseas travel to the low availability of rooms at hotels in many parts of Greece due to the increase in foreign tourism at home. High temperatures in many parts of Northern and Central Europe and the World Cup in Russia led to a drop in last-minute bookings from major markets such as Britain and Germany for popular Mediterranean destinations, forcing big European tour operators to offer significant discount packages. This combination of factors is also expected to reduce the availability of rooms in Greece through September.
FedHATTA has hailed the new figures as a sign that Greeks are indeed traveling more following the slump observed during the economic crisis. Indeed, the Hellenic Statistical Authority’s (ELSTAT) most recent survey on the qualitative characteristics of Greek tourists points to a steady rise in demand over the past four years for Greek and foreign destinations. According to its most recent data, the number of Greeks who traveled in 2017 increased by 10.2 percent to 4.5 million in 2017 compared with the year before that.