Sun and Sea are the two main symbols of Greece; the same diptych dominates Crete as well, attracting thousands of tourists every year. This is the main assumption of the research conducted by the Polytechnic School of Crete, presented recently.
According to this study, the climate and the natural beauties that exist in abundance in Crete, are the main reasons (78.01%) for which tourists choose this island as their travel destination, while the 34.21% prefers the island due to its historical and archaeological wealth.
This study shows us that Crete – as well as the entire country – bases its touristic reputation on the natural beauties and the primary elements of the mother land. But these are the elements that were used 40 years ago, when the first huge tourist campaigns were launched.
This calls for a new concept which includes developing tourism and focusing on Crete’s rich natural resources to promote and market what the land of Crete has to offer. The promotion of tourism in Greece via modern means, such as the internet is significant, while thematic tourism and investments in the local elements, such as the Cretan diet and cuisine, are expected to skyrocket. Especially when it comes to thematic tourism, local officials acknowledge that it is a quite big challenge for the island, since Crete needs to benefit from its natural richness and advantages.
Except for the classic theme “sun and sea”, the study denotes several more interesting elements that need to be taken under serious consideration. Tourists seem to be very pleased with the natural environment, climate, sense of security, and accommodation outlets.
Food and hospitality are also considered to be among the great advantages of the island. What is left behind, though, is the security service in airports, the safety in streets, and the cleanness. According to the tourists, beaches need to be cleaner, the ratio of value and price should be better, and the public places need to be taken care of.
An average tourist in Heraklion spends 51.3 Euros daily, 48.5 Euros in Chania, 45.7 in Rethymnon, and 50.6 in Lassithi. The average expenditure per person is almost 492 Euros, without calculating the costs of tickets and accommodation. Dutch seem to spend more money in Crete, followed by Norwegians, Italians, and Swedish.
Crete boasts a great deal of returning tourists as well; the vast majority of them come from England and the Scandinavian countries.