Crete - The favorite tourist destination of the Israeli
With tourism being the key element of Greece, a rapid growth is experienced in the market, the one of Israel. Arrivals of tourists from Israel this year, according to the most optimistic forecasts, may even increase to 50%.
Besides, the numbers of the last five years is irrefutable evidence of a reality that gives much credit to the tourism industry of Greece.
Crete and Rhodes, as everything indicates, this year are taking the lion's share and in a way that, if it continues so, could cover the "loss" from other equivalent markets such as for example of the Baltic states.
This year, the number of arrivals from Israel is expected to surpass even the number 100.000, when 7 years ago the number did not exceed 12.000. But when did the Israelis began to discover the island? In 2002 arrived in Heraklion, the first charter flight from Tel Aviv. The year then ended with approximately 7.000 arrivals from Israel. In 2003 and 2004 there were significant variations, while very bad year for arrivals from Israel was declared 2005 and 2006. The picture, however, began to change gradually from 2007, when from Israel arrived in Crete, about 20.000 tourists, with that number to have doubled by 2008.
At similar levels was the movement of Israel in 2009. In 2010 about 45.000 tourists "voted" Crete, while 52.000 arrived in 2010. 2011 was a very pleasant surprise for the island, as tourists from Israel totaled 77 000 in all 4 prefectures of Crete, with the prefectures of Heraklion and Lasithi occupying the lion's share.
2012 is considered to be a very good year for the island for tourists from Israel. Indeed, based on pre-bookings, about 100.000 Israelis were found on the island for holidays and even on the begginning of the tourist season! Already many hotels will open by mid-March and probably closed again until mid-April that the constant flow of arrivals will start. The first groups refer to four-day and five-day packages, and in the heart of the tourist season, the holidays can take up to 10 days.
Characteristic of tourists from Israel is that they always choose short holidays. The Israelis, will make omen at the airport "Nikos Kazantzakis" in Heraklion. The two largest airlines Israir and ELAL already launch larger aircraft to cover the seats on flights with some of them are made with giant boeing 747 (jumbo).
During the season, over 12 flights will be done weekly from Tel Aviv to the airport of Heraklion and 4 to the airport of Chania.
What should immediately mobilize the Greek state is the issue of promoting tourism to this country, and in some years Greece could be the key leader in this market. Indeed, in recent years there are many Israelis who choose cruise tourism too, while staying before or after the departure of the cruise, at the ship's destination.
The coastal front of the prefectures of Iraklion and Lassithi are the areas that receive the bulk of tourists from the Mediterranean country. Many people involved in tourism believe that the bad situation in Israel-Turkey relations has favored the increase of tourist arrivals to Greece and Cyprus. Indeed, until last year Cyprus was characterized as the most popular holiday destination for Israelis, who with a flight lasting 55 minutes arrived on the shores of the island of Aphrodite.