The first wave of bookings for summer vacations in Greece during 2016 has created expectations that the national tourism industry will grow again this year, thanks to traditional travel markets for the destination.
The recent wave of terrorist attacks in competitive destinations and tourism related targets, has turned security into a dominating factor for travelers all over the world, but also from Greece’s neighboring countries, who currently seek their next summer holiday location.
According to Greek Tourism Confederation President (SETE) Andreas Andreadis, reservations for Greece next season have increased thus far by about 5%.
However, under the weight of developments at international level, it is expected that this figure will move even more upstream with last minute reservations.
Mr. Andreadis estimates that travel options during this period will be based more on the feeling of security emitted by different international tourism market destinations than their general attractiveness.
Indeed, according to existing evidence, the available bed capacity among safe destinations in Europe is proving insufficient to meet the tourist summer demand.
Bookings growth for Greece is powered by major markets such as those of Britain, Germany, Austria, and Russia while momentum in Poland and Skandinavia is also positive.
At the same time, however, bookings from the Netherlands remain in negative territory, while in France there is not yet sufficient volume for drawing firm conclusions.
Finally, there is expectation that US bookings will maintain last season’s levels.
SETE’s president believes that at the end of February there will be more data to identify the objectives in respect of the Greek tourism figures this season.
Furthermore, there is an ongoing survey expected to arrive at useful conclusions with respect to the attractiveness, safety and value-for-money of Greek destination but, also, assess the repercussions on the industry from high migration and refugee flows received by the country.
On the cruise front, the recorded dynamics for Greece seem generally positive.
The cruise potential
It is indicative of the situation that MSC Cruises and Crystal Cruises announced the replacement of Turkish ports included in their itineraries at the start of the season, with Greek ones.
On the other hand, Disney Cruise Line chose to replace scheduled cruise ports in Greece, Turkey and Malta in August with ports in Western Mediterranean.
Therefore, for safer conclusions on that front, we must also wait a little more.