Crisis-Ridden Greece Still Big Draw For Luxury Tourists. Crete on 12th place

Greeks may be fleeing their crisis-ridden country in droves, but it is still a favorite destination for luxury tourists.

Greece accounted for 20 percent of the top 15 vacation spots for wealthy visitors, according to Switchfly, which ranked them by length of stay. Athens, site of the Acropolis and the Parthenon, as well as massive protests against proposed new austerity measures, was No. 4 behind Seoul, Dubai and Milan.

The picturesque islands of Crete and Mykonos are also among the top destinations for travelers flying first class and checking into five-star accommodation, according to Switchfly.

“Every year economic, social, and political events affect travel trends,” said Daniel Farrar, chief executive officer at Switchfly, which compiled the list from its global booking engine. “This year, we’ve seen a rise in travel to Greece as the country’s economic crisis had made travel more affordable.”

The average luxury vacation is more than a week long, with the length of stay varying from 8.3 days in Miami, Florida, to 13 days in Seoul, according to Switchfly’s analysis. Europe has seven of the top 15 spots, while Asia has five. Miami is the sole North American destination, while in South America it’s Sao Paulo.

The news that more high-spending tourists may be headed to Greece is a rare bright spot in the midst of the gloom enveloping the country, whose economy is forecast to contract in 2015, the seventh annual decline in eight years. The country also recently overtook Italy as a top refugee destination, with many of those fleeing war-torn homelands landing on the very beaches favored by luxury travelers.

Luxury Travel Index 2015

For the lucky few, summer vacation can last all year long. Created from Switchfly platform data of travelers around the world, this infographic depicts the top luxury travel destinations. The destinations were ranked by average length of stay and give some insight into the traveling habits of people flying first class and sleeping five star.

The data revealed:

  • Although the majority of top luxury travel destinations are European, the top two luxury travel destinations are in Asia and the Middle East, respectively.
  • Luxury travelers are spending at least twice as much time on their vacation as the average American does.
  • The average Luxury Travel vacation is more than a week long, and the top 15 destinations vary from an average length of stay of 8.3 days in Miami, Florida, USA to 13 days in Seoul, South Korea.
  • Greece’s economic problems have been a boon to travelers, and the country ranks as the most popular country with three cities in the Top 15. Athens, Greece is the 4th most popular Luxury Travel destinations, while Crete and Mykonos come in at #12 and #13, respectively.

Bloomberg, Switchfly

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