Πέμπτη 20.06.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

Visitors coming by plane, bus and boat to Corfu for Easter

tourism
25 Απριλίου 2024 / 09:57

CORFU. Full occupancy rates in the town centre. High number of bookings in the rest of the island as well.

A record number of visitors is expected in Corfu this Easter, according to tourism professionals. Hotel occupancy rates in the town centre are at the maximum, and now only through cancellations can one hope to find available rooms for those days.

Although the situation in hotels was entirely different last month, as the Vice President of the Corfu Hoteliers Association, Spyros Rokas, told Enimerosi, numbers have surged recently, and now accommodation can only be found by those who act quickly.

Due to the fact that this year's Easter falls late and is within the tourist season, with international flights now operating daily in double-digit numbers, it's only to be expected that available beds have become scarce. Since all the events take place in the old town, enthusiasts are desperately seeking accommodation within the historic centre to be as close as possible to the core of the religious events, with their unique customs, processions, the Epitaphios, and the first Resurrection with the famous botides (clay pots) that provide a unique experience for visitors.

"Until a month ago, interest was subdued, but that has changed as it has surged recently," Mr. Rokas said. "Hotel bookings in the town are above 97%, and those in the rest of the island range between 80%-85%." Regarding the cost of overnight stays, it varies depending on the services provided and the hotel category, with room rates ranging from €100 to €600 - €700, and there is also a minimum stay requirement.

According to the President of the Association of Corfu Travel Agents (AOCTA), Dimitris Diavatis, a good season overall seems evident, particularly at Easter. He told Enimerosi that because hotels will be open due to Easter, it is highly likely that we will surpass last year's visitor numbers, which were very high.

Occupancy rates are also very satisfactory in rental accommodations, according to the President of the Corfu Federation of Tourist Accommodation Owners, Pericles Katsaros. He told Enimerosi that many of them have already opened, with most starting operations for this season on May Day - May 1st. He even estimated that for this year's Easter, Corfu will break visitor records, as it will be celebrated within the tourist season, which is proceeding positively. "The highest occupancies are always in the town, as all events take place there," he said. "It's very difficult to find a room in the town centre for those days, but there are options outside. The cost of staying in rental rooms varies from €60 to €400 depending on the services offered."

Airbnb

Airbnb properties have also become highly sought after. Konstantinos Lavranos, property manager of the company "Life Villas" (managing 130 accommodations in Corfu) told Enimerosi that demand for these properties started shortly after Christmas, and occupancy rates seem to be reaching 100%. He added that prices are decreasing as there is competition from hotels that have opened or are opening, hence there are more options for interested parties. Thus, the average accommodation price for two-person properties ranges from €140 to €250 per night, with a minimum stay requirement (3 or 4 nights).

Planes and ferries fully booked

Aeroplane seats for afternoon and evening flights from Athens to Corfu from the middle of the week are sold out. Yesterday, on the airlines' websites, one could only find tickets for morning flights, but at high prices.

And on ferries, tickets are no longer available for certain routes. However, since ferry companies have modified their schedules for Easter, passengers will be accommodated on other routes, due to the high number of bookings on the route between Igoumenitsa and Corfu for the Easter period. According to maritime agents, there is already a 15% increase in online bookings, with many rushing to book their tickets early to avoid queues and waits at the neighbouring port.

There is also high demand for road transportation with organised group travel agencies. A large number of coaches, mainly from Northern Greece, are expected to arrive in Corfu on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, returning on Easter Monday.

Restaurant bookings

Restaurants in the town have already started to accept reservations for Good Friday, Easter Saturday, and Easter Sunday, the President ofthe Corfu Catering Association, Vassilis Vassilakis, told Enimerosi. He said that some restaurants around the town will open by Holy Tuesday, while many will start operating after Easter, when the season will be in full swing. However, the Easter table in restaurants will not be cheap, due to significant increases in all costs. "Costs have risen significantly, not only in products but also in wages and services," he stated. "€100 is not enough for a meal for a family of four in a restaurant. Products have increased by 147% and more."

 

MARIA BAZDRIYIANNI

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