Crisis, riots weigh on bookings

The reduction rate in bookings for the current tourist season from traditional markets such as Germany, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries has reached double digits so far, compared with last year, according to hotel market professionals. Recent images from the riots in Athens will not help the Greek product, meanwhile.

Although it is still early to draw any safe conclusions — as just 15 to 20 percent of the year?s bookings have been made so far — it appears that there are also losses from the British market, albeit smaller, while the Russian and the Israeli markets are on the rise.

Hellenic Hotel Federation President Yiannis Retsos said this is the most crucial period for final planning and provisional bookings as foreign tour operators will have to decide on the number of flights per destination depending on demand.

The prolonged discussions on the Greek debt swap and the recession environment in various European countries have weighed on bookings, he added.