Zakynthos and Crete are optimistic for a good August and September, with more than 50% of hotels open and extending season into November

More than 50% of the hotels in Zakynthos and Rethymno (Crete) are expected to be open by the end of July, expecting an increase in arrivals in August and September, as well as in October.

This common assessment gave a moment ago in the online broadcast of Tornos News Live the president of the Association of Hoteliers Laganas and Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (XEE)  Ms. Christina Τετράδη and deputy mayor Rethymnon Tourism and Entrepreneurship  Mrs. Pepi Birliraki , chaired by publisher Tornos News  Mr. Giannis Giannakakis . 

Both regions expect, with the opening of the British market from July 15, that bookings will begin to rise gradually, with the first data showing that August will move satisfactorily and better in September, while both Zakynthos and Rethymnon is ready to receive tourists at least until the end of November.

According to  Ms. Tetradis , according to the Hotel Chamber, more than 5,000 hotels across the country (50% of the total) are preparing to open this season. 

The first reservations 

The first bookings for Zakynthos, so far, are from the Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Romania and Hungary, while the first wave of British tourists on the island is expected by the end of July. 

Rethymno, as Ms. Birliraki pointed out  , receives the majority of tourists from Heraklion Airport and after Chania Airport, but from where, now, it receives a significant number of Scandinavian tourists, which is the largest nationality in Chania arrivals. 

Also, part of the arrivals arrives from the ports of Heraklion and Chania, while for the first time this year Rethymno will have a direct ferry connection with Piraeus on a line that passes through Santorini and Milos. The direct connection with the islands and the rest of Greece is something very promising for Rethymno, said  Ms. Birliraki .

As he said, very good fullness is evident for August, while the best month seems to be September. The hotels of Rethymno, he underlined, are ready to remain open until December. Besides, preparations have been made in recent years for 12 months of tourism in the area.

Attractive packages for Greeks

Both Zakynthos and Rethymnon offer special prices to Greeks for this summer. There are already packages that offer accommodation, transportation, leisure and experience trips at extremely attractive prices for the Greek family.

Zakynthos has the advantage, as Mrs. Tetradis said  , of approaching both Athens and Northern Greece and the Peloponnese by road in a few hours, which is why she estimates that from August many  supporters  of social tourism programs will choose the island. .

Rethymno, according to  Ms. Birliraki , has set up all-inclusive  packages  for the Greek family, from 80 to 100 euros per night, which are already offered by tourist offices. The package provides accommodation, catering, transportation, cultural events and experience excursions.

Domestic tourism, however, is not expected to exceed 10% of all arrivals on the two islands.

The seriousness of health protocols surprises foreigners 

As Ms. Tetradis and Mr. Birlirakis underlined  , on both islands, businessmen and employees have been trained and certified in compliance with health protocols, which already makes a positive impression on first-time visitors, who adapt to the new regularity of their vacation.

The first tourists, as they  mentioned , thank the hoteliers who opened because their dream and desire was to come to our islands for their vacation.

Recently,  Ms. Birliraki said , the mayor of Rethymno honored a couple of Germans who have visited Rethymno 50 times. The couple are travel agents and as they said at the event, their customers are looking forward to coming to Greece. They said they were very happy to be in Rethymnon and expressed their great surprise at the way the staff treats them and how seriously they point out and inform them about the services now offered at the hotel.

This seriousness, added  Ms. Tetradi , should characterize entrepreneurs, workers and society this year, so that Greece, which received the international praise for the management of the pandemic, continues with its visitors. Proper health management, he stressed, will be the trump card of our country for the recovery in 2021 and step by step to overcome the crisis.

However, as mentioned in the show, entrepreneurs, employees and organizations in Rethymno and Zakynthos are well informed and trained in the management of any virus cases, so that if they arise (something that everyone avoids) the management is painless for the patient, employees, customers and hotels to continue their operation. There are also appropriate health structures to offer treatment, if needed. 

The government measures are good, if the banks applied them 

The government has announced measures to support tourism businesses, however, so far the banks have not implemented them, resulting in liquidity problems.

Very few entrepreneurs received money, Ms Tetradis said  . We are constantly complaining about entrepreneurs, which is why the institutions of the industry are in constant contact with the Ministries of Finance, Development and Labor, so that companies can acquire working capital to  restart  their operation, he said.

The  lady Birliraki  expressed its belief that the pace to help entrepreneurs find, recommending patience and understanding in these unprecedented circumstances that we all experience. He was quick to point out, however, that many hotel entrepreneurs are self-sacrificing this year to support the Greek economy and workers, as the arrival and arrival are uncertain.

Indeed, Ms.  Tetradi added , entrepreneurs are backing up primarily to support local economies, as there is no profession on the islands that is not based on tourism. Tourism for Greece and Greece for tourism , should be the motif of this year, he said, emphasizing that tourism for another year will give its best. 

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