ECONOMY

Tourism hopes dampened by variants and absent Brits

tourism-hopes-dampened-by-variants-and-absent-brits

While not a complete washout, the summer tourism season vital to Southern Europe’s economies will be less than sizzling as the Delta coronavirus spreads and travel hurdles keep British and other sunseekers at home.

In Greece, where tourism makes up a fifth of the economy, the central bank this week cited concerns over new variants as it cut forecasts for 2021 tourism revenues from 50% to 40% of those in 2019, when it welcomed a record 33 million visitors.

Grigoris Tassios, head of Greece’s Hoteliers Association, said the average occupancy rate at hotels across the country was currently 35-45%, a rate he saw persisting through early July.

“Bookings have frozen clearly because of the uncertainty over Covid and particularly the Delta variant lately,” he said. [Reuters]