Greece is once again without tourists after the end of the summer season, with the only exceptions being a few flights to Rhodes and Crete. TUI had announced the extension of the tourist season for these two main destinations in the country, as in real numbers the number of tourists is small.
Winter tourism in Greece is practically non-existent for another year and it should not be related to the “tail” of the summer season, but with separate packages created by tour operators, giving vacation options to the millions of Europeans who want to escape during the winter months. TUI’s announcements two months ago to extend its activity period in Greece and in November in Rhodes and Crete, are part of its strategic plan, but the company had other motivations.
The devastating summer fires in Rhodes, affected for a long time, in the heart of the season, its organized packages and flights and ultimately its finances. The extra tourists who will be holidaying in Rhodes over the next two weeks is one of the measures taken by the travel company to mitigate the losses. In Crete, TUI started this season quite early and ends it in November with a small number of tourists, for whose service only a few hotels remain open.
Athens continues to receive foreign tourists
Athens is the only Greek destination that still accepts tourists from abroad in winter as well, but not at the same rate as in summer. Organized vacation packages, mainly for city breaks, are sold by several large and small tour operators such as TUI and Jet2. The capital hosts many conferences and events during these months, while the Authentic Marathon is expected to bring thousands of tourists to the city in the coming days, with traffic peaking on race dates. And Athens remains a seasonal destination, with an emphasis on summer and with the oxymoron that the vast majority of its foreign visitors do not know that it has a long coastline as well as islands.
War brings a change of scenery to the popular winter destinations
One of the most popular winter destinations, Egypt may face major cancellation issues due to the Hamas-Israel war. Many are canceling their holidays in the major Egyptian resorts, with most of them heading to the Spanish islands. Canary Islands and Tenerife are at the top of preferences.
Swedes in Rhodes and Crete
Although the finances of Swedish households are under pressure and there are many signs that this will continue for some time to come, a third say they will go on holiday in the winter. This is according to new Sifo research carried out on behalf of TUI, by Kantar Media. Figures show that flights from the country to the Canary Islands are almost full. TUI states that seats are available for Turkey and Rhodes. The Swedes, based on TUI bookings, choose the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote) for their Autumn holidays, Cyprus second, Rhodes third, while Mexico and Crete follow in the next places.