ECONOMY

Just 10% of hotels have opened since mid-May

just-10-of-hotels-have-opened-since-mid-may

Tourism officials and organizations predict that flows to Greece will start picking up significantly from late June or early July onward, the deputy president of the Greek hoteliers union, Christina Tetradi, has said.

In an interview with the state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency, she spoke of a “nonexistent” May and very few bookings in June, with most hotels having put off opening until the middle of this month.

Roughly 10% of hotels have opened since the official start of the tourism season on May 14, Tetradi noted, with most waiting for the green light from Greece’s main markets, which are the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and the Scandinavian countries.

Meanwhile, tour operators have been pressing for ever lower prices and their flights have been arriving with few passengers on board.

It is essential for Greece to become green on the Covid map issued by the European Center For Disease Prevention and Control, Tetradi emphasized, saying a better epidemiological picture will be the deciding factor for last-minute travelers.

She highlighted June 7 as a key date, when the UK will announce whether Greece will go “green” for Britons, meaning that they don’t have to quarantine on their return.

The season has also got off to a slow start on Rhodes, where only 25 of its 650 hotels are now open, while roughly a quarter are open in Iraklio on Crete.

According to Michalis Vamiedakis, founder of a hotel chain and the Deltanet Travel agency, another key factor will be avoiding bad developments on the pandemic front in October and November, when the flight planning for the following year is done and hoteliers and travel agents start negotiations for new contracts and bookings for 2022.

Mayors at smaller island destinations reported a more hopeful picture and said that the fast pace of vaccinations on the islands, combined with a low number of cases, have generate confidence, with bookings coming from Greece, France, Germany and Italy, as well as Balkan markets, in July and August.