CHANIA, Crete - The gorge of Samaria, on Crete, is one of the main reasons why foreign visitors choose the island as a holiday destination, according to a survey conducted by the Crete Polytechnic, the Mediterannean Agronomic Institute of Chania and the University of Crete.
According to the same survey, revenues from visits to Samaria Gorge significantly support the local economy.
The Samaria National Park is a specially protected area which is a very popular tourist destination that is known worldwide. Since 1981, when the number of visitors began to be recorded, approximately 130,000 people per year visit the site during the summer. The total number of visitors in the last five years reached 744,288 said the Chania Forest Directorate.
When the visitors were asked to what extent their decision to visit Crete was affected by the existence of the national park of Samaria, 32.3 percent of the visitors replied 'very much' or 'decisively'.
The ticket price to enter the gorge and the forest is 5 euros and the price has stayed the same since the admission fee was established. However, according to the survey, eight in 10 visitors said they very satisfied, while in the last years the number of visitors who consider the price low is tending to increase.