Bookings rise feeds tourism optimism

After it seemed that Greece had fallen out of favor with Northern European tourists, they appear to have been reconsidering the country as a holiday destination since the June 17 elections, according to the head of online booking firm Airfasttickets.

Nikos Koklonis, the president and chief executive officer of the Greek-owned company, noted that Airfasttickets has recorded a 17 percent increase in bookings following last month?s elections.

?The course of bookings shows that traditional origin markets for Greece, such as France, are beginning to be more active with last-minute deals, seeking out good bargains, which illustrates that the crisis has engulfed the whole of Europe,? Koklonis told a press conference on Monday, adding that his company has seen a 20 percent rise in bookings from France in the last month and a 17 percent hike from Austria. The general annual drop in domestic tourism amounts to 40 percent, he estimated.

He went on to express hope that if demand from abroad continues at the same rate until the end of the summer, then ?we might not have such a bad tourism season after all.?

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