The shortcomings in terms of provisions provided by the tourism industry and their negative impact on attracting tourists to the island has been mostly offset by the breathtaking beauty of Santorini itself, as proved by a study.
Commissioned by the Cyclades Development Company, the study was based on a questionnaire given to 4,254 tourists who had arrived in Santorini during the period from April till October 2006. Out of every 10 questioned 6 were Greeks, and the other nationalities were mostly Spanish, French, American, Australian and Italian.
Greek visitors, on an average, rated Santorini's tourism services as 3.81 out of 5, whereas other nationalities set it to a 3.55. This clearly indicates a major room for improvement in terms of tourism services, with particular attention required to food and accommodation. In the meanwhile, when asked to rate the natural beauty of the island, ratings were 4.38 by Greeks and 4.17 by other nationalities. When asked to mention reasons on why they would recommend Santorini as a tourist spot, the islands natural beauty, entertainment as well its beaches were termed as the main reasons.
Also revealed by the study were facts such as: half of the visitors were at least 35 years of age and more than half of the visitors were college or university graduates, and single. Most foreigners began planning for their trip to Santorini 45 days in advance, and used the Internet as their main source of information, apart from friends who had previously visited the island, tourist guides as well as travel agents. Greeks on the other hand only took 20 days to plan out their Santorini vacation. Three out of ten foreign tourists buy all inclusive packages directly from travel agents.
While half of the Greeks who were visiting the island had already come to Santorini at least 2.7 times on an average, only two out of 10 foreign tourists had visited the island before. Average number of overnight stays for Greek tourists was about 6.5, and they spent around 725 Euros each, while it was 6.1 overnight stays for foreign tourists, who spent 770 Euros on an average.