Interest for Crete among Russians this year is obviously weaker than in the past: the tourist flow shows a negative trend since spring. In June, despite the expectations of tour operators, the picture did not change: for the first month of summer, 54 thousand tourists from Russia came to the Greek island – it is almost 20% less than in 2018. This is evidenced by the official statistics of the airport of Heraklion.
Experts explain the decline in demand by various reasons. In particular, they recall that the number of flights to Greece decreased by 12%. There was a reorientation for other, cheaper and visa-free destinations - Turkey and Cyprus. “The confrontation with visa-free countries continuous, also European markets should be taken into account. Greek hoteliers, when pricing for the next year, need to draw conclusions and pay attention to increased competition among destinations,” said Alexander Tsandekidi, the General Director of Mouzenidis Travel.
The head of the Greek TEZ TOUR Dimitris Haritidis, in turn, draws attention to the fact that we are talking only about Heraklion. On the whole, in Greece, there is a drop, but in a smaller scale. According to expert estimates, it does not exceed 10%. “Athens and some other regions continue to grow. For example, we also increased the volume to Corfu and Rhodes. Judging by the results of the last week, the overall rate of sales is higher than last year’s,” said Haritidis.
The CEO of Ambotis Holidays Vitaly Stamatov confirms: despite the disappointing statistics, his company in June has the positive dynamics: “Yes, there are short-term failures, but other periods compensate them”.
At the end of the season, tourist industry participants are still waiting for some fall against the results of the season-2018. And they add that a similar situation is seen not only on the Russian market. "The same decline today is observed on the German and British markets," - said the general director of Pantheon tour operator Anatoly Garkushin.