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‘Yamas!’ Greek Islanders Drink To A Better Tourism Season

“Yamas! Cheers for the good season,” says Nikiforos Califirakis, who pours a shot of “tsikoudia,” the strong spirit of traditional Crete, the day after Greece reopens to tourists.

His beach bar is located on the beach edge of Phalasarna, a famous long and wide sandy beach on the northwestern tip of Crete.

“In the end, we are very optimistic that everything will go well and we will be able to survive financially,” says Karifilakis.

“I received a positive message from the hotel owner. People finally need to get out and have fun.”




Photo: AFP / Louisa GOULIAMAKI

Greece officially participated in a race to bring back tourists on Friday, the sun, sand and sea attracted vacationers after months of blockade, and the country’s urgent need for income after last year’s disastrous holiday season Hope to bring about an increase in.

Before the pandemic, Farasalna Beach was famous for its large, crowded summer parties, but it won’t be held again this summer.

“The most difficult part of last year was when the curfew was re-imposed in the middle of the tourist season and we had to close the full bar at 11 pm at the peak of the night,” says Karifilakis.

“I hope this time I will avoid it and all restrictions will be gradually relaxed.”


Farasalna Beach was famous for big summer parties. This year is also impossible, but some tourists have already returned.
Farasalna Beach was famous for big summer parties. This year is also impossible, but some tourists have already returned.
Photo: AFP / Louisa GOULIAMAKI

The pandemic has a serious impact on the Greek economy and is heavily dependent on the tourism sector, which accounts for more than 20% of GDP.

According to the Greek Tourism Federation, tourism revenues plummeted from 18 billion euros in 2019 to 4.28 billion euros ($ 5 billion) in 2020, but tourist arrivals fell 76.5% to just 7.4 million euros. became.


The hotel owner, Costantinos Coratlas, is coordinating the sunbeds of his hotel in a fishing village in Bali.
The hotel owner, Costantinos Coratlas, is coordinating the sunbeds of his hotel in a fishing village in Bali. “It’s difficult, but in the end a positive season awaits,” he said.
Photo: AFP / Louisa GOULIAMAKI

“We hope the season can cover some of last season’s losses, which were the least profitable,” Mayor Hania Paniotis Simandirakis told AFP.

“We worked with health authorities to hold a seminar on health protocols for tourism sector employees, and we hope that regulations around the world will be relaxed as the season progresses. “

Tourists are still a rare sight here, and locals are reorganizing umbrellas and sunbeds and finishing up their business of cleaning the patio.

Travelers across Europe still have some restrictions, and Greek hoteliers expect the tourism sector to recover from late June or early July, along with stronger vaccination figures.


Tourists are beginning to return to the old town of Chania, northwest of Crete
Tourists are beginning to return to the old town of Chania, northwest of Crete
Photo: AFP / Louisa GOULIAMAKI

“People are finally starting to book vacations, many of them due to cancellations last year, but there are also some new ones,” he says, owning one of the few hotels already open in a small fishing village in Bali. Konstantinos Kouratoras says.

“It’s difficult because people want to travel in the end, but in the end there’s a positive season in front of us.”

The owner of a nearby souvenir shop, Ilias Karaharios, expects to be at least 10% more profitable than in 2020, the worst season in history.

“If our vaccinations moved faster, maybe we’re already welcoming British tourists,” he says.

The UK has added Greece to its amber travel list. This means that British tourists returning from their Greek vacation will face at least five days of quarantine.

“Last year was the most difficult season of my 12 years on Crete, and I’m looking forward to the same thing this year,” she says, collecting shells of artwork she creates and sells to tourists. Michaela Raeburn says.

“It’s really hard and really worrisome for the business here. I think July, August and September will be the seasons here. My fingers crossed.”

Vasiliki Kourtraki, owner of the Chania Sweet Complex, is optimistic as it is nearly full in July, August and September.

“The islands weren’t much affected by the decades of the financial crisis, but this winter was really tough,” she says.

By the end of May, Crete’s travel agency’s president, Michaelis Vratakis, expects Crete to be in a “green” travel zone.

“Last year, we received praiseworthy comments as we had the best epidemiological conditions compared to the rest of Greece and were able to safely accommodate a quarter of the total number of tourists arriving.” He says.

“Our goal is to reach half of our 2019 revenue.”

Martin Jarosz of Poland is one of the few vacationers enjoying the turquoise waters of Phalasarna with his wife and baby.

“I feel free,” he enthusiastically promised to return to the second half of the summer after finishing the vaccination.



‘Yamas!’ Greek Islanders Drink To A Better Tourism Season Source link ‘Yamas!’ Greek Islanders Drink To A Better Tourism Season

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