Heraklion “Patris” newspaper published the following story on the progress of bookings from the main markets of Greek tourism this year, so far:
Travelers’ bookings have been influenced by the public’s continuing fear of possible new terrorist attacks, yet there is an increase from Germany and Russia.
Tourism operators expect the climate to improve soon and bookings flow to increase as Spain is expected to be overbooked within the next 2-3 weeks.
Former Heraklion Hotel Association president Nikos Chalkiadakis said that German bookings record a 6%-15% growth by Thomas Cook and 15% by TUI, but bookings from France, Holland, Austria, Switzerland have slumped by 15% -20%.
According to him, destinations where European travelers can go by car, such as Croatia and Italy will also benefit this year.
Regarding the Russian market, Chalkiadakis noted that difficulties remain with the visa centers, since Greece has opened only eight, while Spain operates 25 and offers visa home delivery as well.
Finally, he expects the Greek season to commence by the end of March during Catholic Passover which is celebrated this year on March 27 and several major hotels in Crete to open during that time.