Germans book 30 pct fewer Greek holidays

German bookings for holidays in Greece have slumped by almost a third so far this year, a German Sunday paper quoted a Thomas Cook executive as saying.

“By the beginning of the Summer season, booking numbers for holiday in Greece in the German travel industry have been 30 percent below the year-earlier figures,» Euro am Sonntag cited the head of tourism at Thomas Cook’s German unit, Michael Tenzer as saying in an excerpt of an article made available to Reuters on Saturday.

There had been an improvement up to the Greek elections in May, but with a looming reelection, talk of a euro exit and pictures of violent protests in cities, fears among Germans have returned, he added.

This was despite heavy discounts. Thomas Cook, for its part, was passing along to Greece-bound holiday makers discounts of up to 20 percent given by hotels and airlines, Tenzer was quoted as saying.

Germany’s biggest tour operators in March called on its nation’s holidaymakers to ignore anti-German sentiment in Athens and take trips to Greece’s islands, after booking numbers plunged at the start of the year. [Reuters]