Greece in Top 3 Mediterranean Travel Destinations

Αssociated Press

In this Sunday, June 7, 2020 photo, a yacht sails out of the harbor on the Greek island of Mykonos. (AP Photo/Derek Gatopoulos)

ATHENS -- Greece is in the top three Mediterranean destinations that tourists want to visit once travel restrictions are lifted, based on a sentiment survey on 12 target markets conducted by Horwath HTL, a global consultancy specialising in tourism.

In a list of eight Mediterranean destinations, Greece ranks third after Spain (22.04 pct) and Italy (15.70 pct), with 15.01 pct. The other destinations, in order of preference, are Portugal, Croatia, Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt.

The most popular destinations in Greece are Halkidiki (18.35 pct), Crete (15.6 pct), Santorini (13.76 pct), Corfu and Mykonos (11.93 pct) and Rhodes (11.01 pct). Other Greek destinations listed in the survey include other Ionian islands (4.59 pct), other Cyclades islands (3.67 pct), Kos (3.67 pct) and the Peloponnese (2.75 pct).

More than two thirds of those questioned felt optimistic about the future of tourism and travel, while 52.8 pct said they wanted to travel abroad and 63.91 said that they felt safe travelling by plane. Regarding accommodation, 45.1 pct would prefer to stay in a hotel (25.21 pct preferring an independent hotel and 19.89 pct a hotel chain), 27.02 pct chose either rented rooms or short-term leases and 27.88 pct to stay with either friends or family.

On factors that will govern their final decision whether to travel, the top ranking was the manner in which the government of the country they plan to visit has handled the pandemic (26.34 pct), the hygiene and safety protocols that have been implemented (24.52 pct) and the health infrastructure of the destinations. More usual selection criteria, such as local attractions (13.45 pct) and competitive prices (11.57 pct) do not appear to be as important when choosing a destination in the 2020 tourist season.

The survey was conducted online between June 8 and June 22, on a sample of 1,000 adult participants of all ages from 12 target markets, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Spain, United Kingdom, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States.

The head of Horwath HTL Greece, Xenophon Petropoulos, underlined that the experience of the first arrivals in July will be a key factor that will decide the rest of the season for Greek tourism, as the visitors will immediately start to communicate their experience to friends, co-workers and acquaintances, who will be keen to know whether it lives up to their expectations and is trustworthy.