Ferry arrivals to the Cyclades islands showed signs of recovery during the third quarter of 2021, compared to the same period in both 2020 and 2019 – prior to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic – according to data by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

Covering the main summer months (July, August and September), Q3 is usually Greece’s strongest in terms of tourism arrivals and revenues.

Data analysis shows that many of the popular Cyclades islands managed to cover some of the lost ground between 2019 – 2021 while others – such as Serifos and Sifnos – exceeded 2019 levels with arrivals increasing during July-September 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 and 2019.

Paros ranked first in terms of arrivals (560,479),  followed by Santorini (368,027) in second place and Mykonos (310,969) in third.

Milos (147,513 arrivals) recorded the largest increase in 2021 compared to 2019.

On the other hand, Andros, Ios, Naxos and Syros saw arrivals decrease by approximately 20,000 visitors during the third quarter of 2021, compared to the same period in 2019.

Meanwhile, the islands of Santorini, Paros, Mykonos and Milos saw arrival numbers drop further due to the – usually – longer summer tourism season.

Photo source: European Commission / Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis

Photo source: European Commission / Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis

ELSTAT’s data for ferry arrivals in Q3, 2021, are as follows:

Amorgos: 42,986 arrivals, up from 18,394 in 2020 and 40,105 in 2019
Andros: 128,201 arrivals, up from 96,498 in 2020 and down from 149,032 in 2019
Antiparos: 232,564 arrivals, up from 133,030 in 2020 and down from 236,326 in 2019
Thira (Santorini): 368,027 arrivals, up from 165,654 in 2020 and down from 575,047 in 2019
Ios: 76,225 arrivals, up from 33,415 in 2020 and down from 96,403 in 2019
Kythnos: 63,350 arrivals, up from 48,455 in 2020 and 56,851 in 2019
Milos: 147,513 arrivals, up from 85,453 in 2020 and 140,030 in 2019
Mykonos: 310,969 arrivals, up from 146,323 in 2020 and down from 438,522 in 2019
Naxos: 306,805 arrivals, up from 158,016 in 2020 and down from 324,534 in 2019
Paros: 560,479 arrivals, up from 303,699 in 2020 and down from 613,305 in 2019
Serifos: 60,036 arrivals, up from 40,659 in 2020 and 54,238 in 2019
Sifnos: 89,186 arrivals, up from 55,497 in 2020 and 87,889 in 2019
Syros: 151,357 arrivals, up from 101,440 in 2020 and down from 173,630 in 2019
Tinos: 223,629 arrivals, up from 134,049 in 2020 and down from 277,551 in 2019.

Passenger traffic at Greek ports up by 34% in Q3, 2021

Source: ELSTAT

Overall, total passenger traffic at Greek ports in the 3rd quarter of 2021 increased by 34.3 percent compared to the same period in 2020, ELSTAT said.

The number of domestic passengers reached 13,937,997, and international passengers 636,065.

Source: ELSTAT

The total movements of goods in Greek ports in the third quarter of 2021 increased by 0.2 percent compared to the third quarter 2020.

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The Lighthouse Athens Hotel, a member of Brown Hotels, officially opened its doors and is welcoming visitors to the center of the Greek capital.

Located on Omonia Square, one of the city’s main squares, the hotel features 220 fully equipped rooms that combine baroque style with modern urban elements and pioneering design.

“The new hotel is a must-visit destination for local explorers and tourists,” Brown Hotels said in an announcement.

The Lighthouse Athens features an all day café bar-restaurant on the first floor; a rooftop bar-restaurant on the 10th floor with a pool and panoramic views; and meeting rooms for business travelers.

The hotel also aspires to attract fitness and wellness afficionados in its modern fully equipped gym and indulging spa facilities.

Lighthouse Athens is housed in the building of the former La Mirage hotel, which has been fully renovated by architect Stavros Peppas of SP Architect & Partners.

Shades of blue and green colors, with black and gold details, dominate its interior that includes marble and bronze elements as well as chandeliers, velvet sofas and mirrors.

With Lighthouse Athens, Brown Hotels aims to revive Omonia square and contribute to the area’s growth.

Aiming to bring back Athens’ famed nightlife of the ’90s, the group has plans to open an underground club in the near future.

Brown Hotels, this year is planning to open three more hotels in Athens: the Brown Spices, Domino House and House Sans Rival.

In addition, the group will soon launch new resorts in Corinth, Halkida, Eretria, Corfu and Chania.

During the next three years, the group’s investment plan includes the opening of 40 hotels and resorts that are already in the process of construction and development.

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The Kālesma Mykonos luxury hotel has received two gold honors as best boutique and fine dining hotel for 2022 at the Greek Hotel of the Year Awards.

Organized annually by Boussias Communications, the event honors many different types of accommodation facilities for the prime hospitality experiences they offer to guests.

Kālesma was announced “Best Boutique Hotel for 2022”, winning the gold award in this category. Furthermore, the hotel received the gold award in the “Fine Dining Hotel 2022” category for its Pere Ubu restaurant.

The awards were received by its owners Sofia Kousathana and Aby Saltiel during a ceremony that was held in Athens on March 30.

“Kālesma Mykonos and Pere Ubu Mykonos stand out for the authentic Mykonian hospitality they offer to guests as well as chef Kostas Tsigkas’ unique gastronomy approach… highlighting Greek cuisine,” Kousathana said after the awards ceremony.

On his part, Saltiel thanked K-Studio and Studio Bonarchi-Vangelis Bonios for designing the resort’s architecture and interior areas, respectively.

“Kālesma Mykonos wishes to make guests feel at home. With the help of K-Studio and Studio Bonarchi’s Vangelis Bonios, we’ve managed to breathe life into our vision and ultimately, gain this distinction,” he said.

A paradise of privacy in the Cyclades

Kālesma Mykonos is a boutique hotel designed to resemble a summer home on Mykonos, brimming with warmth and good company. The owners’ philosophy relates to the feeling of authentic Mykonian hospitality they want guests to experience from the moment they first arrive until the day of their departure.

The new one-bedroom villas, in operation from this year, ensure absolute privacy and comfort as well as a space within which guest can enjoy premium services, such as private dinners and al fresco barbecues, with views to the infinite blue sea.

Fine dining and incredible views

In addition, the Pere Ubu Mykonos restaurant with chef Kostas Tsigkas at the helm, is a frontrunner on Mykonos’ gastronomic scene. Dishes bursting with imagination, color and the aroma of Greece, refreshing cocktails and premium wines provide the perfect pairing to all meals.

The unique view of the pool and the nearby island of Delos in the Aegean sea are some of the visitors’ favourite elements.

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The new luxury “Superstar” vessel of Greek ferry operator Seajets on April 8 will begin itineraries from the port of Rafina to the Aegean islands.

Formerly known as “SuperFerry II”, the vessel will conduct daily evening itineraries from Rafina (departure at 4.45pm) to the islands of Andros, Tinos, Mykonos and Paros.

The passenger ship can travel at a speed of up to 21 knots and carry 1,480 passengers and 240 vehicles.

“Superstar is the ideal solution for short getaways but also long stays on the islands,” Seajets said in an announcement.

The company offers a 20 percent discount for passengers, private cars and motorcycles on return tickets that will be issued until April 12 for trips with Seajet Superstar until the end of the season.

Passengers must be members of Seajets Seaclub and issue both their departure and return tickets with their membership card.

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Vigla Hotel, Amorgos

The Vigla Hotel on the Greek island of Amorgos has announced that it will reopen its doors and welcome guests on April 10.

Located in the village of Tholaria on the north part of the island, Vigla Hotel offers high quality services and authentic hospitality in its recently renovated rooms, as well as stunning views of the Aegiali bay.

“We know that now, more than ever, travelers are looking for carefree safe holidays. We are here to make it happen,” Vigla Hotel Managing Director Despina Giannakopoulou said.

The village of Tholaria and the bay of Aegiali on Amorgos.

The hotel has maintained all its safety-conscious measures to ensure maximum safety for its guests and employees against the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

For example, the hotel offers disinfectant dispensers for guests in all rooms and public areas as well as contactless procedures such as online check in and digitalized menus supported by QR code or special links.

Photo source: Vigla Hotel

Meanwhile, Vigla Hotel provides its guests with the opportunity to experience new activities via the Dream Blue, its specialized travel agency promoting the beauties of Amorgos.

“Aiming to make nature-based physical activity accessible to all, we propose hiking routes and road trips to the amazing nature of Amorgos with our expert guides. In addition, we offer a number of indoor activities such as cooking and dance lessons,” Giannakopoulou said. More information is available on the website of Dream Blue here.

To celebrate its opening, Vigla Hotel has launched a special campaign with an exclusive offer of 15 percent discount for long stays.

In addition, the hotel continues last year’s #be_a_traveller_again offer with a 10 percent discount.

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The Greek National Tourism Organization’s (GNTO) branch in Scandinavia has been named Norway’s Best Foreign Tourism Office for 2021 at the annual Grand Travel Awards (GTA).

The awards are organized for the last 25 years by the Norwegian and Swedish editions of Travel News, a leading travel magazine in Scandinavia.

Travel News recently presented GNTO and all the winners in its online edition.

“Greece is one of the best tourism destinations for the Scandinavians,” the director of the GNTO service in Scandinavia Pavlos Mourmas said.

He also referred to Greece’s successful handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“We tried to meet the needs of people and inspire them by publishing new travel stories through our advertising campaigns ‘Greece from Home’ in 2020; ‘All you want is Greece’ and ‘Greece does have a winter’ in 2021,” he added.

After two years of absence due to the pandemic, the GTA awards ceremony will take place in Sweden on April 26.

The awards will be handed over to the winners by Travel News CEO David Kurtz.

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Photo source: Eurowings

Eurowings has announced that it will fly from its new base in Stockholm to the Greek islands of Crete (Heraklion), Rhodes and Mykonos for summer 2022.

The airline on Sunday launched flights from its new base in Stockholm/Arlanda to a number of destinations in Europe and the Mediterranean region.

“The new flights from Stockholm go to several popular holiday destinations in southern Europe, such as Palma de Mallorca, Alicante and Malaga in Spain. Eurowings will also fly to the Greek islands of Heraklion [Crete], Rhodes and Mykonos as well as to Larnaca in Cyprus,” a company announcement said.

Photo Source: Municipality of Heraklion

Stockholm is the 11th Eurowings location in Europe – and the fifth base outside the home market of Germany, following Palma de Mallorca, Prague, Pristina, and Salzburg.

Other destinations included on the airline’s schedule from Stockholm are Birmingham, Nice, Hamburg and Düsseldorf.

“Sweden is a market that fits perfectly with our orientation as a value airline for Europe,” said Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof.

“In uncertain times, many travelers are no longer primarily looking for the cheapest ticket, but for an airline they can trust unconditionally in terms of safety, reliability, and social responsibility. With our Lufthansa DNA, an attractive network of affordable direct flights, and customer-friendly, innovative services, we can offer just that,” he added.

Eurowings will add more destinations from Arlanda during the summer.

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Delphi, Greece. Photo: GTP

The recovery efforts and challenges of the 2022 tourism season will be discussed during the 7th Delphi Economic Forum 2022 that is scheduled to take place in the town of Delphi, Central Greece, during April 6-9.

Politicians, tourism officials and entrepreneurs will discuss on ways to maintain safety and accelerate tourism growth amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia – Ukraine war crisis.

The forum’s tourism agenda includes the following topics:

– growth and competitiveness opportunities for Greek tourism
– improving education, skills and employment
– investment in hospitality and tourism
– overtourism and efforts to achieve sustainable tourism.

Furthermore, during the forum, the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) will present the results of its ongoing survey titled “Greek Tourism 2030 | Action Plans” that is jointly conducted by Deloitte – Remaco on behalf of its research body INSETE.

Among the forum’s speakers are Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias; Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki; Greek National Tourism Organization Secretary General Dimitris Fragakis; Tourism Policy Secretary General Olympia Anastasopoulou; SETE President Yiannis Retsos; Marketing Greece CEO Ioanna Dretta; Hellenic Chamber of Hotels President Alexandros Vassilikos; Crowne Plaza Director of Experience and Communication Emmanouela Moussama; HotelBrain Founder Panos Paleologos; SWOT Hospitality President Stelios Koutsivitis; Leopard Hospitality Leon Avigad and many more.

The theme of the 7th Delphi Economic Forum is “New realities”.

Greek culture

The forum will also attempt to highlight the challenges and opportunities for Greece’s cultural heritage with discussions focusing on the following issues:

– climate change and its impact on cultural heritage
– preservation of cultural and natural heritage
– culture innovation and systemic change
– arts and investments
– culture and gender equality.

Archaeological Museum of Delphi. Photo source: Ministry of Culture

Among the forum’s speakers are Culture Minister Lina Mendoni; British Novelist Victoria Hislop; Europa Nostra Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović; and Principal Advisor to the Greek PM George Kremlis, among many others.

The Delphi Economic Forum 2022 will take place as a live event in Delphi during April 6-9.

The forum’s sessions will be available online free of charge at www.delphiforum.gr (registration is required).

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Once in Mykonos Luxury Resort

Once in Mykonos Luxury Resort, a five-star hospitality property located on the Greek island of Mykonos, is getting ready to open its doors and welcome its first guests as of May.

Located on the beach of Ornos, the new hotel is a member of Louis Hotels and a joint venture with hotel management company Trésor Hospitality.

The new luxury resort offers the opportunity both to couples and families to enjoy the distinctive features of Mykonos.

Designed by architect Fivos Stavrides and F Studio Designers, the luxury resort features 59 suites of minimal chic style, modern architecture and eco design.

The decor of all the rooms are in complete harmony with the landscape of the Cyclades’ diffusing light, featuring friendly colors and combining the classic Cycladic style with boho modern decoration. Amenities include king-size beds and flat-screen satellite TVs complete the hospitality experience.

The resort’s Design Room Suites, which include a private terrace and pool, are considered ideal for guests that seek for absolute privacy.

At the Once in Mykonos Luxury Resort, guests can enjoy unique Mediterranean flavors, crafted by Chef Nikos Skordakis, at the resort’s pool restaurant; and signature cocktails by talented mixologists.

The resort will soon announce the arrival of an international luxury restaurant brand to its premises.

Once in Mykonos Luxury Resort features facilities available for private corporate events as well as including weddings and christenings, anniversaries, birthday parties.

The resort also offers wellness experiences and its spa facilities include a jacuzzi, an indoor and an outdoor pool, signature spa products created with organic products, a gym and an outdoor yoga stage overlooking the sea.

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