ECONOMY

Hoteliers fear more trouble from Russia

The Greek hotel market is wary of any more bad news regarding Russian tour operators going bankrupt, as the collapse that began on July 16 with successive closures by travel firms appears unabating.

In the last couple of months at least 13 well-known tour operators in Russia have gone under, causing problems for thousands of customers who were traveling with them abroad and leaving debts of millions of euros to hotel enterprises in several countries including Greece.

The president of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, has consistently warned about possible new problems from Russian tour operators. However he sets as the top priority the smooth serving of Russian tourists who have arrived on bankrupt tour operators, up to the moment they return home.

The Russian upheaval has forced a revision of targets from the Eastern European market. SETE expects losses from the Russian and Ukrainian tourism flow to amount to 300 million euros, with estimated arrivals from Russia coming to 1.1 million this year. Recovery next year is seen as unlikely, but by 2021 SETE expects the arrival of up to 2.5 million tourists per year.