It looks like tourism in Greece is on the rebound. A lot of people suddenly want to come to Greece and the country as a whole might end up having a better year than in 2011. This is probably due to the combination of Greece not having any strikes (affecting tourists) this year and the bad weather in northern Europe which made people want to escape to the sun. Let’s hope that the trend carries on: Greece needs all the tourists it can get.
I had actually been quietly optimistic throughout the spring that things in Crete would not be bad at all despite what everybody else was saying. My confidence was due to two factors: Chania airport was showing more arrivals (+ 8%) than last year (and Heraklion at -2% was not doing too badly either) and the visitors statistics for this web site were slightly up on last year. Having followed my stats for the last 12 years I know that they don’t lie. Or at least they haven’t done so far.
Moving away from statistics and to reality, Chania seems just as busy as always and shopkeepers are complaining as much as they were last year (or maybe a little more) so all is normal there. Beaches are busy and you see lots of rental cars driving around. Some resorts are doing better and some are doing less business but these seem to be local variations. For example visitors to the gorge of Samaria are substantially down on last year. I don’t know why there has been such a big drop but it is a fact and hard on the inhabitants of Agia Roumeli who are trying to make a living.
Note though that any business (such as restaurants) relying heavily on Greek tourism will also feel the pinch as many Greeks have cancelled or shortened their holidays. They are going to suffer a big drop in revenue unless they can attract foreign visitors.