On Mykonos, Greece’s famous party island ‘Everyone is about to explode’
Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP via Getty Images The narrow, cobbled alleys in the traditional village of Oia in Santorini are always packed with tourists, even this time of year. The Greek island with the world’s most famous sunset views is often the top tourist destination, but COVID-19 is making it even more popular in 2020, and despite its warm Mediterranean climate, it means that it is still a great destination. The tourist season in Greece usually starts in early April and lasts until late October. But the road has been relatively lonely with vaccinations going on around the world. And for the convenience of a quick test, Greece is opening up to foreign tourists on May 14, after nearly a year and hopefully getting success in the past. And two of the most famous island business owners, Santorini and Mykonos, are expecting a smooth reopening. Giorgos Dimitrokalis wakes up every day to take in the stunning views of the Caribbean. Oldeira and although he was born and raised in Santorini But this view of the Aegean Sea never surprised him. But for owners of KD Hotels and Resorts and vice president of the Santorini Hoteliers Association, it’s hard to be the only one to enjoy this view. Joke that the locals had the opportunity to enjoy the island for themselves. I hope this summer things will get back to how they were before the outbreak, because the island really suffered. “Unlike elsewhere in Greece, islands such as Santorini and Mykonos have the majority of their economy driven by tourism. It’s only slightly more than 20 percent of the country’s overall economy, according to the Institute of the Greek Tourism Federation, it was the best year in a decade, and the coronavirus reached Oia’s view on the island of Santorini. Greece. Alkis Konstantinidis. “It’s summer outside. But the crowds of people going out on the streets as if it were winter, not even a soul outside, it was surreal, ”said Poly Linoxylaki, owner of the Sand Lily boutique at Imerovigli in Santorini, the Greek Minister of Tourism. In desperation, Harry Theo Haris recently announced that the government will reopen tourism in Greece from May 14. There are two types of tourists visiting Santorini, describing Dimitrokalis, a ‘ Owner of 10 hotels Al lr around the island: “At hotels near the beach, we have seen a lot of interest this year. Our customers were there for about seven days, usually families and most of them were Europeans. At city-center hotels such as Caldera and Fyra, travelers are often from overseas, such as Americans, Brazilians, Chinese and Australians, and usually stay less than three days. They came to see the island, admire the sunset and leave. ”For Embark Beyond, a luxury travel consultancy based in New York,“ Greece and Turkey may be the only European countries to open this summer ”for Americans. And therefore They advise customers to “book now before the floodgates are open and too late.” “What we have been told is that the international flight to Greece for tourism will be available from anywhere in the world on May 14th. This is waiting for officials to let us know what the protocol will be for this year, ”said Dimitrokalis, pointing out that Americans are big fans of the island. Are from the United States and Australia, and if They won’t come for some reason, I’m going to have a big problem, ”says Linos Silaki, who sells most clothing and accessories made by Greek designers.“ My clients, they support small businesses like mine. ”During this time of the year, reservations for the summer will be Usually around 70-80 percent, but according to Dimitrokalis, today the figure is down to 25-30 percent. “We hope next month more people will pay attention, and we expect that by the end of the season we will get more attention. Maybe it will reach around 50 percent of 2019. We look forward to last-minute bookings to meet that goal. ”He’s most bookings starting in the middle of the summer. But everyone is optimistic. “If the weather is good, we expect to extend the season this year because we have lost in the first three months,” Dimitrokalis said, and that’s what Linoxylaki agrees, although she has some doubts about the loss of the season. Open again: “We hope that September. And October is the peak of this season. But to be honest, I personally don’t believe we can open the service on May 14, according to the government. ”Like Santorini, most of the Greek islands were also damaged last year. Among them, Mykonos, the popular Cycladic island with bright white houses and wild nightlife, when Kim Kardashian and her family traveled to Mykonos in 2013 to film the series Keep Up. with the Kardashians season eight Kim is pregnant with North and the island. Filled with paparazzi … and plenty of tourists An overview of Chora of Mykonos at sunset Demetrios Ioannou Today Iraklis Zisimopoulos, CEO of Semeli Hospitality Group, which hosted the Kardashian family and their team for almost a decade. And look back on that day with nostalgia But with confidence in the future, “I am sure they will come again, the coronavirus will not last forever. Maybe not this year But we see that the movement of Mykonos will not be lost and we are confident that better days will come, ”he said. Simopoulos is also general secretary of the Catering and Entertainment Association of Thailand. Mykonos as well as “I have hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs and everything is shut down,” he said with a bitter smile when speaking to Athens news agency last September, Konstantinos Koukas, the mayor of the island. They said last season they had only reached 30 percent of 2019 and, as Zisimopoulos explained, “Last year was a disastrous year. But we hope this year will be different. It will certainly not be close to the regular season. But, of course, it will not be the same as 2020, “the most important role in shaping the format, which will be the protocol through which tourists will be able to enter Greece”. I know there are three options: 1) those who were vaccinated, 2) those who tested negative in the past 48 hours, and 3) who were already sick and now have antibodies. ” Said Mopoulos, the doctor. When it comes to Mykonos, people don’t come to the island just to see the beautiful scenery or swim in the clear blue sea, they go because they want to have fun and everyone has only one thing in mind… entertainment. At night Mykonos is known all over the world as Greece’s “Party Island” and where you can open up your identity openly, Anastasios Kapetanias has contributed to this reputation as much as the director and founder of XLSIOR Festival, the only gay music festival. In Greece and one of the top five in the world last year. It was the first time he had to cancel it since its 2009 debut, but he had high hopes for this summer. “People are hungry for fun,” he said. We are holding a festival this year. They tell us ‘We have to see our friends. We have to feel free again. ‘Everyone is about to explode. We can’t take it any more. “For the Greek government, nightlife is not a top priority and will be one of the last things to open and any requirements are not yet known. XLSIOR alone brings to the island more than 30,000 people every summer from all over the world. “We have people from the United States, Brazil, Spain, Israel and most of them come every year.” Capetanias. explain “In August, when the government decided to close all bars and clubs at midnight, all reservations were stopped and many of them were canceled.” Zisimopoulos, the whole situation is surreal, as Kapetanias explains: “People are all around the street looking for a villa party to go, and everyone hides as if we were at war. This is not Mykonos.” One windmill saw. Chora of Mykonos Demetrios Ioannou, the government of Greece, decided to vaccinate all residents of a small island of under 1,000 with the first COVID-free islands in Greece, including Kastellorizo and Oinousses. Mykonos, which has a population of 10,000? Zisimopoulos is confident that their problems can be solved: “If all villagers are vaccinated, no matter what happens on the island, we will have a strong defense. In the regular season we have at least 10 bookings a day, now the maximum is 2. In the last 20 days we have seen some moves and we have some bookings from the UK, Israel and the US where vaccinations Will be faster Most of those bookings are July and August. ”On the other hand, Kapetanias suggested that opening a live festival like him again could be a quick test. On the same day they were tested, and if they were negative, they could come with results and feed. We just need to have advanced regulations so people will be completely safe. ”And although no one knows for sure this summer’s nightlife How will it be It’s like an island engine, and everyone is organizing, hopefully they won’t have to cancel again. “Due to the circumstances, we will be able to hold an event in a dream location that other years cannot. This year most of our work will be outdoors as well. We will definitely bring the best DJs, musicians and dancers we know our audience loves, ”Capetanias said of this year’s event, which was announced on August 18-25. Will be the year we will It has gotten a big part in our lives and vacations back, and since we have been deprived of so many things in the past year, it will make us feel a lot better. I really believe there is hope on the horizon, ”Zisimopoulos said. Kapetanias comments,“ To be honest, what I want for this summer is to see happy people who laugh, have fun, are safe and want to. Come back again next year. ”Read more at The Daily Beast. Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now! Daily Beast: Beast Inside members delve into the stories that matter to you learn more.