Neos Kosmos is inviting readers to send in their holiday stories and photos from Greece as part of a campaign to boost tourism in a country that needs the help of its diaspora now more than ever.
The campaign will be focusing, promoting and publishing-in print and electronically-all aspects of your travel experience in Greece. Through the campaign “You in Greece”, we give you, our readers the opportunity to share your unforgettable experience in the land of Gods, myths, untold natural beauty and global historical signifcance. We feel that by promoting travel in Greece to our readers it will benefit the homeland of our fathers, which is going through very tough times these days. Revenue generated by Australians travelling to Greece has helped in the past and continues to help Greece’s ailing economy.
In the last year all indications and reservations show that travel to Greece has not decreased, according to Melbourne travel agent Kon Kavalakis from Grecian Tours. “It’s very similar to last year; we haven’t got a financial crisis here in Australia so it hasn’t affected our travellers,” Kavalakis told Neos Kosmos.
While the majority of people travelling to Greece are visiting family, there are also standard tourists, Mr Kavalakis said. “Every year the three top destinations are the islands: Mykonos, Santorini, and then Crete has been popular this year,” he said. The most popular holiday packages continue to be the island hoppers, Kavalakis said.
“They pick up a flight or a ferry into Mykonos, catch a ferry to Santorini and we package up accommodation and flights to accommodate for that. The islands are the biggest selling packages,” he said. Five airlines fly to Greece; Emirates, Etihad, Qatar airlines, Thai Airlines and Singapore Airlines. All fly into Athens, with the Arab airlines; Qatar, Etihad and Emirates, flying into Greece daily. Singapore and Thai airlines have about three flights a week to Greece. While flight prices vary (it can depend on when you book and pay), Kavalakis said “the cheapest flights are early bird specials which commence from the previous year, in November, December. Generally if someone was to book now they’d be paying anywhere between $2000 to $2500 depending on airlines and dates. Whereas if travellers were to book at the end of last year for this European summer they could nab earlybird specials as low as $1800”.
“Dates play a huge role in price. If you left at the end of June you’d be paying top dollar because of the school holiday period, if you left towards end of July it’d be cheaper,” Kavalakis said. A growing number of strikes in Greece, including the national strike in recent weeks, which saw the airport closed for 24 hours, remain a problem.
“The national strike, where the airport was closed for 24 hours, did cause a bit of a problem, passengers had to be reallocated the next day or day after, and these things always causes inconvenience, but it happened in a period that wasn’t too busy, fortunately,” Kavalakis said.
Greece continues to encourage tourism from international travelers, which is reflected in lower prices, Kavalakis said. “I think they have tried to accommodate cheaper prices at hotels and for flights, availability is certainly better within Greece, so you assume they’re not as full as what they have been other years and their rates are a little bit cheaper”.
Neos Kosmos wants to hear from you, our readers, about your experiences whilst holidaying or travelling through Greece. Whether you soaked up the sun or got stuck in a strike, let us know by sending your stories or travel snaps to [email protected].
We look forward to reliving amazing Greece through your experiences!