From January 1 to the last day of October, a total of 4,785,356 visitors arrived and departed, reaching almost 63% of 2019 and 40% of 2018, which was also characterized as the golden year for Greek tourism.
The pandemic may continue its onslaught on the globe, however, it seems that it did not slow down Cretan tourism, which this year proved to be the absolute dominant in the Greek tourism industry, as it accounts for almost 20% of tourist arrivals in the entire country.
The numbers at the country’s second largest airport as presented on Crete TV and the show “Peak Hour” are impressive as from January 1 until the last day of October a total of 4,785,356 visitors arrived and departed, reaching almost 63% of 2019 and 40% of 2018, which was also characterized as the golden year for Greek tourism.
In 2020, 2,415,945 visitors arrived and departed from Heraklion airport
In 2019, 7,966,979 passengers arrived and departed
In 2018 gold arrivals and departures reached 8,149,936 passengers.
The above figures refer to domestic and international arrivals and departures. In fact, the numbers with aircraft movements and private flights are also impressive. The Germans are again this year the absolute dominators of Cretan tourism with German flights daily outnumbering some days in number and domestic flights such as Athens, Thessaloniki and Rhodes.
From the beginning of 2021 until the last day of October, 754,351 Germans arrived compared to 400,106 in 2020, followed by 306,476 domestic arrivals compared to 224,337 in 2020, while in third place in terms of arrivals is France with 221,379 arrivals compared to 98,583 in 2020.
It is followed by Great Britain (143,490), Poland (120,478), the Netherlands (120,347), Switzerland (107,412) and the surprise called Ukraine (82,517), Austria 77,263 followed by Belgium (64,646).
Unfortunately, the slide in arrivals was big for Russia’s once strong tourist market, which fell to 19th place at Heraklion airport, with 41,733 arrivals, but the figure reflects a huge increase compared to the very poor 2020, when only 263 Russian tourists arrived at Nikos Kazantzakis airport after the pandemic and European manipulations of Russian tourist arrivals put a blockade on the arrivals of Russian tourists.
In fact, according to tour operator, Adypa Sifakis, the strict restrictions on travel imposed by European governments to deal with the new coronavirus have caused enormous dissatisfaction among Russian tour operators and Russian tourists.
At the same time, the tour operator, Michael Vamiedakis, who spoke of a completely successful tourist season, which is extended until the end of November, was completely satisfied, while the airport manager at Nikos Kazantzakis praised the great effort of the airport employees who worked with all their strength in a difficult season and even in the shadow of the pandemic.