Although Greece has seen a 5% drop in tourists during the first five months of this year compared to last winter/spring, visitor numbers to the Greek Islands have actually risen by up to 15%.
Greece’s southernmost island, Crete, saw the largest increase in arrivals, up by 15% on the same period last year and visitor numbers to Corfu were also up. Thessaloniki saw a rise of 7% during the months of January and May 2012. Visitor numbers to islands such as Kos and Santorini remained approximately the same as last year.
The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) said: "It is important that we support the growth of one of Greece’s main development axes during this difficult time. It is uplifting to see that tourism has remained resilient during this time with only a small reduction in arrival numbers."
Dr. Andreas Andreadis, president of SETE, added: "Greece remains a very attractive and desirable destination. The arrival figures demonstrate that if we had no political instability, we would be in the position to say that we would be within our initial target of 16 million international arrivals.
"We are confident that the result of the forthcoming elections and the forming of the new government will provide the stability that the tourism sector needs at the moment."
RCI and Interval World have a number of resorts in Greece. Corfu, Santorini, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Lesvos and Skiathos are some the island destinations, along with beauty spots on the mainland such as Halkidiki and Pelion.
Musician Leonard Cohen is one of the Greek Islands’ most famous fans. On September 27, 1960, six days after his twenty-sixth birthday, he bought a house in Hydra for $1,500 with money left to him by his grandmother. He described his life on the quiet island, which is still car-free even today, to his mother: “I get up around 7 generally and work till about noon. Early morning is coolest and therefore best, but I love the heat anyhow, especially when the Aegean Sea is 10 minutes from my door.”