The Greek Summer has become the American dream for thousands, including the rich and famous, who have been flying over the Atlantic for a vacation on the majestic Greek islands.
Since the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, dozens of famous Americans including entrepreneurs, artists, journalists, and sporting personalities have made Greece their preferred summer destination.
Greece’s unique mix of natural beauty and cultural amenities has established the eastern Mediterranean country as a first-class destination for any traveler wishing to experience a feel-good and carefree vacation in a land of true hospitality.
American celebs dream of the Greek Summer
Among the personalities who visited Greece in the last couple of years was Elon Musk the world’s richest person, 50 Cent, ABC presenters Lara Spencer and Amy Robach, NBA legend Magic Johnson, actor Samuel Jackson and rapper LL cool J.
Bikini-clad Demi Moore was vacationing somewhere out on the Greek seas.
American tennis player Serena Williams toured the Acropolis and, Hollywood actor James Franco has made Mykonos his second home as he was spotted enjoying the nightlife of the cosmopolitan Greek island for the fourth consecutive year.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are regulars in Greece as they own a property on the island of Antiparos.
Last year, Jeff Bezos was spotted cruising the Aegean, and Tiffany Trump, the daughter of former US President Donald Trump, was vacating with her fiancé on her beloved Mykonos.
Oscar-award-winning actress Charlize Theron, who has been vacationing in the Greek islands last summer as was Lionel Richie, who has joined his family on a luxury Greek getaway adventure in the beautiful Greek island of Mykonos.
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell are regulars on the island of Skiathos, as is Kate Hudson.
Increase in Flights from the US to Greece
The increase in regular flights offered by US airlines to Athens and Thessaloniki has helped to greatly boost tourist flows from the USA, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) for the region of Greece said in a statement on Friday.
The agreement reached with US airlines for 63 direct flights per week from the USA to “El. Venizelos” international airport in Athens resulted in many “high-spender” travelers visiting Greece.
According to statistics, the average American’s travel budget reaches $2,000 per person per week, of which 25% is spent on accommodation and 15% on food.
US Travel Agents: Biggest surprise this year is Greece
US-based First in Service Travel (FIS) has recently shared findings from its latest survey, revealing the top international destinations its advisors across the United States are booking and recommending.
France and Italy tied for first place as the top international destinations being booked, with Greece rounding out the top three.
“With all the pent-up demand for travel, coupled with the near parity of the American dollar with the euro, it’s no surprise that Europe is performing so well,” explained Fernando Gonzalez, CEO of F1S speaking to Luxury Travel Advisor.
Gonzalez indicated that the biggest surprise internationally for the year is the popularity of Greece.
“Whether it’s the culture of ancient cities like Athens or the allure of the islands, Greece has really taken off over the past couple of years. It was able to take hold during the pandemic and has maintained its strong forward momentum this year,” he said.
F1S advisor Leah Winck concurred, noting a variety of factors for booking Greece so frequently: “Beauty, culture, blue waters, relaxation, history, monuments, sites.”
Hotel prices skyrocket during the Greek summer
The increase in the number of “high-spender” American travelers is helping the Greek economy which heavily relies on tourism.
However, there are a number of serious consequences:
Prices rise, making it more difficult for Greeks to afford vacations, house prices skyrocket as affluent Americans and other European increase demand for properties, and concerns about profiteering and the adverse effect of over-tourism on the environment are on the rise.
The price of hotel rooms in Greece has risen to astronomical heights compared to 2019, according to research recently by a tourism intelligence provider.
The price of a 4-star hotel room has gone up by 62.7 percent and that of a 3-star room is up by 19.2 percent.
Greece is currently the most expensive in the Mediterranean as far as 4 and 3-star hotels are concerned, and the third most expensive for 5-star hotels.
Property prices soar to prohibitive levels for most Greeks
The price of properties in Greece has increased to unprecedented levels in 2022 with the Athens Riviera and the Cyclades leading the post-COVID recovery of the real estate market.
The average price along the Athens Riviera, the shoreline along the Saronic Gulf just outside the Greek capital city, is 3,067 euros per square meter, an increase of 10.9 percent compared to the same period in 2021.
The Cyclades is the second most expensive area to buy property in Greece. The price has risen by 6.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year.
The average home in the Cyclades costs 2,887 euros per square meter, making the region the second most expensive in Greece.
Is over-tourism killing the environment in Greece?
In addition to rising inflation rates, which is a global phenomenon, prices in Greece have steadily increased over the years due to over-tourism.
Overtourism refers to overcrowding caused by a massive amount of tourists visiting a place at one time, and it usually leads to difficulties for locals and tourists alike. The phenomenon has been recorded across the world, as well as in many areas of Greece during the summer months.
Many locals, although disgruntled by the negative impacts of the phenomenon, are hesitant to speak out or implement changes to fight over-tourism due to fears of losing business.