As the tourist season is scheduled to open in mid-May, an increasing number of international media outlets are promoting Greece as a safe and alluring destination for visitors from overseas.
The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper recently published an article on the Greek islands, commenting on their overall safety as the vaccination program proceeds faster than expected in the smaller, hard-to-reach islands, making them an ideal destination for tourists.
“It is a complex operation, getting vaccines to far-flung islands that don’t have airports, but it is being done with the help of helicopters and military flights,” said Emy Anagnostopoulou, director of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO). “By the end of April, 69 or 70 islands will be fully vaccinated – 61 small and medium islands with up to 3,500 residents, plus some larger ones.”
The vaccination program, named “Freedom,” has already resulted in the complete inoculation of islands with low numbers of inhabitants. Most of those islands are located in the middle of the Aegean Archipelago or close to the borders of Turkey. One of the first islands to benefit from the program was Kastellorizo in the Dodecanese, the easternmost Greek territory.
Greek travel companies started promoting those COVID-Free destinations as holiday packages for UK tourists.
Among other islands, Fournoi (between Ikaria and Samos), Lipsoi (in the Dodecanese), Kythnos and Patmos, where St John the Evangelist monastery is located, Meganisi (in the Ionian Sea, close to Lefkada) and Skopelos, where Mamma Mia! was filmed, are safe for visitors, according to the Daily Mail.
So far, TUI, the biggest travel company in UK, has announced that 25% of its bookings are for the Greek islands, especially Skiathos and Samos.