BUSINESS

Bookings from the UK show recovery on Brexit delay

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism

Bank of Greece data on British tourist arrivals and reports from major hotel chains are quite encouraging for 2019, pointing to a recovery in bookings.

This follows a period of concern about how Brexit would affect the British tourism market, as the uncertainty and the prospects of a devaluation of the British pound could (as was the case last fall) were seen discouraging UK travelers from making plans.

However, both the January-February arrivals data and the figures for bookings in March and April show that those fears may well not materialize after all. On the contrary, there are reports that a large number of Britons had been rushing to book their holiday packages in Greece as the Brexit deadline of March 29 approached.

Although it is still too early to conclude that the worst fears had been overstated, the latest political developments, particularly the extension London secured from Brussels, are seen as encouraging, hoteliers comment.

Last year tourism revenues from British visitors dropped 6.2 percent on a yearly basis to 1.937 billion euros, and arrivals shrank 2 percent to 2.943 million visitors. In January-February 2019 takings from UK tourists soared 96.8 percent year-on-year.

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