Thursday, July 9, 2015

Greece's tourism hit by debt crisis. As foreign tourists leave Greece, Turks stay

The Greek Tourism Confederation says it has seen a 30 percent drop in last-minute bookings, which typically account for one-fifth of bookings to the country.

But on the island of Santorini, one of Greece's most iconic tourist destinations, local businesses say the crisis has not yet dealt a major blow to tourism.

Lina is an employee of a local shop on the island.

"It doesn't affect Santorini island so much, it's about 10 percent lower than it was expected to be."

Yet some businesses on the island are beginning to feel the effects of the crisis.

Although tourists have been able to use credit cards, many business have been facing demands by suppliers to pay cash for goods.

Penelope Theodosopoulo, who runs a family restaurant, explains it is the suppliers who need cash.

"We are working with suppliers here, but our suppliers are working with suppliers in Athens, for example. The big ones, they need cash, and they say if you don't give me cash, I won't give you the products. So eventually, we won't have any products. "

Despite their fears, business owners want to deliver a message of confidence for potential visitors.

And for some business owners like William Mandeilaras, even the threat of Greece succumbing to a state bankruptcy is not enough to dampen their confidence.

"In the short-term there will be problems, but for the long term I think there won't be any problems because people won't stop travelling and especially if we get a lower currency, it will have actually encourage tourists travel to Greece even more because their currency will be stronger than ours, they will be able to make more travels to Greece."

Travel website says Greece flight bookings from Germany suddenly dropped off after June 26, when talks broke down between Greece and its Euro zone creditors.

Between June 27 and July 6, daily flight bookings have been down most days by around 30-35 percent from the previous year, with one day showing a decrease of 68 percent.

The reduction in bookings seems particularly to affect German travellers. Flight website Skyscanner said earlier this week that interest from Britain and Spain had actually increased. Some European tourists are switching holiday plans to Greece from Tunisia following an attack on tourists there.

  CRI -
  • As foreign tourists leave Greece, Turks stay (Greek official)

Only Turkish tourists are enjoying their holidays in Greece, although thousands of foreign tourists have left the country amid the worsening cash crisis, said the mayor of Symi Island, which is just a few miles away from the seashores of Datça in the Turkish province of Muğla.
“Many Turkish people prefer the Greek islands for their vacations. They love us. The only foreign people who are not afraid of what is happening in Greece right now are Turkish people,” said Mayor Lefteris Papakalodukas.

He said there is not any limitation on cash withdrawal at ATMs for Turkish tourists and the island’s restaurants and hotels accept payment by credit card, he said, adding that the number of Turkish tourists may increase to 10 million annually if the visa conditions are eased for Turkey.

Around 50,000 foreign tourists have canceled their hotel reservations on a daily basis since June 25, when the country announced its historic July 5 referendum, according to sector representatives. While the average rate of flight reservation cancelations is around 1 percent in normal conditions, the rate increased to 7.2 percent between June 27 and July 1. The cancelation rate rose to record high levels with 22 percent on June 30, according to sector players.

Thousands of foreign tourists have also canceled their cruise tours. Sector representatives said the cancellations on cruise tour reservations have skyrocketed to around 60 percent.

“There is serious chaos in Greece. The reservations have all been canceled. How could a Greek tourist have a holiday with just 60 euros a day? We cannot make the required daily acquisitions and offer services to foreign tourists as banks are still closed and our cash flow is quite limited. The sector will see the record low figures this year instead of reaching its 25 million tourist target for this year,” said Panayotis Bramos, head of the Hoteliers Association of Corfu, one of the most touristic Greek islands, as quoted by local media.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Only News

Featured Post

“The U.S. must stop supporting terrorists who are destroying Syria and her people" : US Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard

US Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, recently visited Syria, and even met with President Bashar Al-Assad. She also visited the recently libe...

Blog Widget by LinkWithin