Greek hoteliers are deeply concerned about the British government’s decisions to postpone the opening of the UK border to mid-July, but fortunately there are also Germans.

The latest announcements of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for postponement of the lifting of the restrictions on July 19, instead of June 21, “froze” once again the British tourism industry and with it the smile of the Greek hoteliers in the Ionian Islands, but also Rhodes, Kos, Crete and other destinations that have welcomed hundreds of thousands of British tourists in the last years before the pandemic.

However, on the other hand, it should be noted that in practice little is changing, at the moment, as the British who arrive in our country so far are few compared to the good years before the pandemic, due to the restrictions already imposed by England with the “traffic light” system.

It is reminded that the Briton who returns home from Greece enters a 10-day quarantine and is obliged to take two tests. Therefore, in practice, the further course of the English arrivals in Greece is connected with the announcements of June 21 for the ranking of the countries in a green, orange or red list by the competent Ministry of Great Britain.

Many tourism players consider that Greece will certainly stay on the orange list, after the recent announcements about the British lockdown.

Waiting for tourism from Great Britain

However, there are those who argue that we should wait. Among them is the president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Giannis Retsos, who explains that “the extension of domestic restrictive measures in the UK should not be confused with restrictions on British travel abroad. Tourism is an anxiety for the course of the British market, but let us not prejudge before the next evaluation”.

It is noted that the compilation of the list has to do with the epidemiological data presented by each country and not the course of the pandemic in the United Kingdom.

The epidemiological data of our country have significantly improved and this was made known by the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to his British counterpart Boris Johnson, in a meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

In anticipation of the next assessment of the British Government, Greece continues to welcome a small number of British and many German tourists.

The Germans in Crete

As noted on, by the president of the Hotel Owners Association of Heraklion, Mr. Nikos Chalkiadakis, two planes a week from Great Britain fly to Heraklion this year when in the good years there were 60-70 flights.

On the contrary, more than 23,000 Germans arrived in Heraklion last weekend, as they have done almost every weekend lately. He estimated that July, after the first ten days, will be a very good month for Crete.

The Germans save the lot in many destinations Characteristically it is mentioned that in the first weekend of June more than 8,200 tourists arrived in Rhodes with 50% of them being Germans. The British market always remains the first tourist market for Rhodes. It is indicative that in 2019, 470,000 British and 420,000 Germans were hosted on the island. In 2020 the British reached 170,000 but the Germans were a little more (186,000).

Also the data from Fraport for the 14 Greek airports it controls also show that in May there were more than 400 flights from German airports which means one flight per airport per day.

Of these 50 flights were to Corfu, also 50 flights to Kos, 70 flights to Rhodes 30 flights to Chania, 20 flights to Santorini etc.

It is worth noting that according to Fraport data at 14 airports the arrivals of German passengers are over 50% of the total passengers. The latest figures for April show arrivals of around 10,000 Germans out of a total of 19,000 passengers.

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