Political, economic instability turns German tourists away

Greece’s economic and political climate has led to an unexpected decline in tourism bookings from Germany by 1.2 percent year-on-year in the first four months of 2015, according to a survey by Gfk.

The report on the tourism behavior of German tourists published on Tuesday showed that the above decline “was particularly felt in the period from February to April, which illustrates the worries that Germans have for our country.” In the same period, Gfk said that Spain has benefited, with the Canary and Balearic islands enjoying growth thanks to their popularity among German visitors, while Turkey has also gained, albeit on a smaller scale than other neighboring destinations such as Cyprus and Croatia. Even Egypt is recovering after two years of decline.

Gfk, which monitors bookings by German tourists on a weekly basis, notes that “every political and economic development combined with the influence of the German mass media have had a direct impact on the final decision for bookings.” Notably, in the February 15-21 period and in the second half of March, bookings for holidays in Greece this year posted a significant decline.

The survey also found that the most popular resorts for Germans in Greece are the Dodecanese islands, followed by Crete, Athens and Thessaloniki. Greece is seen by Germans as the ideal destination for families with three or more members, for people aged between 35 and 64 years old and for tourists with higher incomes. The main reason Germans visit Greece for is the sun and the sea and all the activities related to that mainstream form of tourism. Gfk recommended targeted advertising with the promotion of Greek cultural heritage, its natural beauties and gastronomy.

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