x

Society

Despite Pandemic, Heat, Fires, Tourists Still Coming to Greece

People anxious to travel after being penned up for as long as 18 months during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns aren't being deterred from coming to Greece in the face of the health crisis, a brutally hot summer and a spate of wildfires.

Those have combined, however, to drive down expectations from 50 percent of the record levels of 2019 to 40 percent, but still better than was hoped in the spring before Greece opened the borders in July to those who were vaccinated, had a negative PCR test or had proof of recovery from the virus.

The surging Delta Variant from India that is now a dominant strain has brought rising cases and hospitalizations and the Eleftheria (Freedom) vaccination campaign has stalled.

Some 61 percent of the population of 10.7 million has been fully vaccinated but health authorities said a benchmark of 70 percent is needed to beat back the pandemic and anti-vaxxers and people defying health measures are holding bac progress.

International arrivals at the main tourist destinations, such as the Cyclades, Dodecanese and Ionian islands, as well as Crete, are at about 44 percent of 2019 levels, according to data compiled by Kathimerini from public and private sourcesbeing recorded. 

They were also 50 percent higher than 2020, the year of the first, strictest lockdown, from March until June although January and February 2020, normally dead winter months, had strong arrivals before the pandemic struck in March.

Trends in the first half of August were surprisingly good, with overall arrivals at 81 percent of 2019 and some destinations doing even better, the paper said, including the popular island of Santorini.

It's unclear whether the trend will continue as some operators are reporting cancellations for September, although airlines still believe there will be many last-minute bookings, the paper said.

July saw a strong rebound, with the Civil Aviation Authority reporting that international arrivals were 146.8 percent higher than in July 2020 when the airline business around the world was brought to a near halt by COVID-19.

RELATED

ATHENS - A public high school in an exclusive Athens neighborhood where students conducted an occupation and caused serious damage will have to pay for it, with teachers wanting the parents to bear the cost.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week by Eraklis Diamataris

The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week (Jan 15 – Jan 21) as have been reported at the print and digital editions of TNH and presented by the TNH Editor Eraklis Diamataris.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.