A new competitor is coming to Antalya, the heart of tourism, in the 2021 season. Considering the developments in Europe during the corona virus process, the statements of tourism professionals and the news in the world press, it seems that Antalya’s new rival will be Crete this year. Sharing an article on the subject, Antalya City Council Tourism Working Group President Recep Yavuz said, “Europe is now focused on Greece on vacation”.
Tourism continues unabated in the shadow of the corona struggle. Considering the numerical density, 50 major countries determine the world tourism activity by sending and receiving tourists. Turkey, are taking part in the top 10 in the tourist area and is one of the most important actors of this competition. This competition does not only take place in terms of product, country, price and service, but also lobbying and marketing, as well as the moves of political authorities determine the course. In addition to all this, press and media guidance that occurs periodically and especially during crisis and problematic periods is added. Looking at the recent developments in Europe, statements of tourism professionals and the news in the press, it seems that Crete will be the new favorite of tourism this year.
“Antalya, which is stuck with the EU’s corona restrictions, is almost never mentioned”
Stating that Antalya is hardly mentioned, Recep Yavuz, Head of the Tourism Working Group of Antalya City Council, said, “It is said that Crete reservations have passed even Majorca for the first time during the week, and publications and promotions about Crete are constantly kept alive. Antalya, which is stuck with the EU’s corona restrictions, is hardly mentioned. Tui recently reported that Crete is ahead of Majorca in its current reservations in Germany and Rhodes and Kos are in the top 5 in its reservations. Tui Germany General Manager Marek Andryszak thinks that Greece has circumvented the corona process in a controlled manner and has taken a step forward in 2021 by taking hygiene measures behind with low case numbers ”.
“Greece in crisis means the EU in crisis”
Saying that the EU was affected by the crisis Greece is going through, Recep Yavuz said, “Nowadays Europe has focused on Greece on vacation. It is possible to understand this, because Greece cannot survive a year without tourism for the second time after severe corona syndrome. Greece in crisis means the EU in crisis. That is why support is not only due to love, but also from economic anxiety. The contribution of Greece’s tourism revenues to the GNP is around 12 percent, indirectly around 30 percent, while tourism revenue fell from 18 billion Euros in 2019 to 8 billion Euros in 2020. According to the central bank of Greece, this GNP also opened a hole of 5 percent. According to Ernst and Young Hellas research, the number of visitors in 2020 fell to 14.5 million. In 2019, 34.5 million people visited Greece. 70 percent of these visitors were from EU countries. Only German visitors account for 13 percent of the tourism potential. England comes right after, ”he said.
“It is especially preferred by Cyprus, Israel, Russian and British tourists”
Recep Yavuz said, “Greece, which has 9 thousand 900 hotels and 847 thousand 160 rooms in 2019, wants to further increase this capacity. Fraport Greece completed the renovation works of 14 Greek airports, mainly on islands such as Rhodes, Crete, Mycenae, Samos and Crete, 3 months before planned. One out of every four people in Greece works in the tourism industry. Greece’s tourism and budget, which turned upside down last year, knows that it will not have the same fate in 2021, and therefore, Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis called on EU countries and demanded that the vaccine passport should not restrict travel within EU countries and the obligation to test and quarantine should be lifted. In addition, Greece, which has its eyes on markets outside the EU, recently signed a bilateral agreement with Israel. Similar negotiations are being conducted with the UK. “It is especially preferred by Cyprus, Israel, Russian and British tourists.”
“Crete is the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean with 8 thousand 250 square meters”
Referring to the tourism of Crete, Recep Yavuz said, “It is getting harder to book Antalya right now, amid uncertainties. There are many sanctions and obstacles for the tourist who will make a reservation, and I think travel agencies suggest other destinations similar to Antalya in order not to lose customers. Because not to miss the customer, to make hot sales and to put money in the cash register is the only branch that travel agencies that are about to collapse can hold on. Let’s take a brief look at Crete tourism and its numbers, which captured nearly one-third of Antalya’s capacity in 2019. Crete is the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean with 8 thousand 250 square meters. Its coast is about a thousand kilometers in total. Its population is 650 thousand. Its economy is 60 percent the service sector, 25 percent industry and 15 percent agriculture, with tourism accounting for 40 percent of the island’s income and workforce. In some parts of the island, this rate is 100 percent. This rate decreases only in the mountains and Heraklion. There are 3 international airports, Chania, Heraklion and Sitia. 20 million olive trees, 3 million lambs are important riches of Crete. It has 300 sunny days a year. There are 600 hotels. Most of the hotels are quite old. According to the Fraport Greece report, the most frequently visited countries in Crete: Germany, England, Austria, Finland, Norway, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Russia, Ukraine ”.
“Going to Crete, which is familiar to tourism and tourists for a long time, is now very hilly”
Talking about the problems that exist in Crete, Yavuz said, “There is a travel ban to countries other than Schengen. Those who will come from the EU and Schengen countries must notify their travel in advance and show a negative PCR test not exceeding 72 hours and enter a 7-day quarantine after entering Greece. In addition, Greece imposes a curfew at 21.0005.00 on weekdays and 18.0005.00 on weekends to prevent Mutant spread. Cafes and restaurants are closed. The number of cases, which was 30 per hundred thousand per day at the end of January, has increased to 80 these days. All these are important obstacles to Crete right now. An important tourism professional in Crete said “Antalya cannot even be our dream” upon a question. Under normal circumstances it is, but conditions are not normal anymore ”.
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