With a number of beautiful new hotels set to swell the ranks of an already impressive roster of desirable places to stay and confidence being broadcast by its tourism officials, Greece could hit some high notes again this year, with operators already reporting a positive glow.
From Kalesma Mykonos, claimed to be opening as the most high-end offering on the island, to a wellness escape on the sleepy sister Cycladean island of Antiparos in the form of The Rooster, luxury travellers and agents certainly won’t be short of ideas among the land of 6,000 islands this season.
All this is paired with positive statements from Greek’s tourism chiefs that from 14 May, they will be ready and willing to welcome travellers with negative PCR test in hand, or proof of vaccination, once Brits get a green light for international travel.
Greece’s minister for tourism Harry Theoharis has said priority is already being given to the vaccination of people involved in the tourism industry, while a campaign is also planned around the new slogan of “All you want is Greece”.
It seems he could be right, with several luxury operators saying the country is already performing very well versus European neighbours, and all off the back of one of the strongest seasons of any regional destination last summer.
Operators report Greece is making up anywhere from a quarter to a half of their Europe business this summer, and among specialists with large portfolios there, Sunvil has positive hopes for the destination this year too.
“Greece did amazingly well last year, and was the only country really to stay open until the end of the season,” says Chris Wright, managing director of Sunvil. “Guests felt safe and loved the experience there, and we are expecting the same this year, only better. Even when none of our other destinations are getting bookings, Greece still has them coming through, predominantly for later in the year, but we’re even getting them for May.”
Wright goes so far as to say Greece will be “at the top of the list” when it comes to the proposed “traffic light system” of countries Brits can head to once travel is allowed to resume. A host of new routes from Aegean running May to October could also prove very useful. “Aegean’s business class is, in my opinion, the best short haul out there and should appeal to the luxury market,” adds Wright.
And among the newcomers on the hotel front, Sunvil has added the 34-room Electra Hotel and Spa in Kefalonia, overlooking the Ionian Sea and 150m from Ammes beach.