Hotel industry is worried by low booking rate

Provisional data and early estimates about the course of the tourism season in 2012 give good cause for some concern.

Hotel market sources have noted a decline in the booking rate for this year, a trend they attribute at this stage to the anticipation of developments regarding Greece?s economy.

Additional turbulence has been created in the travel market by cuts from at least 15 foreign airlines in direct flights to the Athens International Airport. In their majority these fights concern scheduled services and are planned for the summer season. On the other hand, at least seven foreign airlines have decided to increase their flights to the country?s main terminal this season.

At any rate it may be too early for drawing any concrete conclusions for the 2012 season, but the industry is worried and pegging its hopes on last-minute bookings so as to maintain the positive momentum from last year.

According to provisional data by the Civil Aviation Authority regarding airport arrivals from abroad, 2011 showed an annual increase of 7 percent, climbing from 12,882,483 in 2010 to 13,783,194. Nevertheless, arrivals in December posted an annual decrease of 6 percent, dropping from 372,517 in December 2010 to 350,328 last month.

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