Hoteliers fear a further drop in arrivals

Greek hoteliers are projecting a fall in arrivals this year in most of the country?s regions, with the country?s tattered image abroad, the lack of promotion and the recovery of north African destinations seen as the chief factors behind lower demand.

Declines in bookings are reported in Greece?s traditional tourist markets, such as Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium, but demand is reported higher from other Balkan countries, Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Turkey.

Hoteliers in Iraklio, Crete, say the bookings picture shows stabilization from June. On Paros, the fall is around 20-30 percent for May and June, while on Zakynthos bookings are at much lower levels from all markets except Russia. On Naxos, many hotels have not even opened yet and local hoteliers consider a 20-percent-drop forecast as optimistic. The Lefkada Hoteliers Association sees bookings down 25 percent as the island has been hit hard by the abolition of domestic, government-subsidized tourism. Hoteliers in Halkidiki say that without any more political upheavals the drop may be trimmed to single digits from the current 15 percent. Many hotels in northern and southern Corfu are still shut. Lower foreign bookings are also the case in the island of Evia and Porto Heli, Argolida, which have the advantage of accessibility by road. In Laconia, southern Peloponnese, hoteliers also report much fewer booking calls.

The islands of Kos and Cephalonia seem to be the exceptions, as business is projected to rise.