The survey was carried out between June and October 2013. A total of 240 questionnaires were completed by visitors. The initial analysis of data obtained confirms the findings of the 2012 survey and provides some indications of possible trends.
TOURISM SURVEY 2013 – SUMMARY OF RESULTS
For a second year in a row the Friends of Paros carried out a survey of visitors to Paros in an effort to contribute to the development of quality tourism and the lengthening of the tourist period. 240 questionnaires were completed by visitors between June and October 2013.
The initial analysis of data obtained confirms the findings of the 2012 survey and provides some indications of possible trends.
The overall profile of respondents is unchanged (35% from Greece) but among those coming from abroad there was a marked increase of visitors from France (from 10% to 15%).
A high proportion of visitors can be considered as “up-market” or relatively affluent: independent travellers (over 80%) who visit many countries every year (69%), are regular internet users (87%) with a laptop/tablet (62%) and/or smart phone with them (81%), and a significant proportion (40%) describe themselves as self-employed, business owners or managers.
The majority of respondents (60%) had visited Paros two or more times. For 40% it was their first visit.
The main factors that influenced the decision of the first time visitors to come to Paros were “friends’ recommendation” (60%) and websites (26%).
The method of travel showed an increase in the proportion of visitors going by plane to Mykonos or Santorini and then by boat to Paros, from 31% in 2012 to 37% in 2013. Most of them still travel to Athens by plane and then to Paros by boat (43%) or plane (16%). Two-thirds of visitors emanating from Athens and other parts of Greece arrive in Paros by boat with a car or motorbike.
The length of stay varies considerably but there are signs of an increase in short stays of 1-4 days (from 14% in 2012 to 21% in 2013) and a decrease in longer stays of 14+ days (from 26% to 14%). A growing proportion of visitors (62% against 56% in 2012) spent some time also in other parts of Greece.
First time visitors booked their accommodation mostly on the internet (53%) and less so by email/phone (38%), which was mostly used by repeat visitors.
The most highly rated facilities are the beaches (rated “excellent” by 54% and “good” by 40% of users) and traditional villages, footpaths, walks (rated “excellent” by 50% and “good” by 44% of users).
Generally, the respondents were highly satisfied and 88% stated that it is very likely that they will revisit Paros or recommend it to friends. 83% indicated various positive factors that can attract visitors to Paros in spring and autumn: the local ambience and hospitality; walks and the flora and fauna of Paros; local food and wine; and cultural events, byzantine monuments, archaeological sites, etc.
The results show that the further development of the tourism in Paros can rely on the preponderance of discerning visitors and that there is considerable scope for lengthening the tourist season. They vindicate the aspirations of the FoP and “Paros 2020” which has argued that the island’s income from tourism can significantly be raised without a further increase in the numbers of visitors and the consequent pressures on the environment and the infrastructure of the island.
The results also suggest that the repeat visitors, who appreciate and love Paros, are the best ambassadors of Paros and their recommendations are of great significance. Preserving the Cycladic character of the island and maintaining good standards (clean beaches, good transport, etc) will keep them coming back. And this will have a multiplier effect since their opinion is the greatest influence on first time visitors’ decisions to come to Paros.