ECONOMY

Migration problem, capital controls take toll on tourism bookings from Germany

migration-problem-capital-controls-take-toll-on-tourism-bookings-from-germany

Tourism bookings from Germany for this year continue to lag those of last year for the same period, according to data from DER Touristik, one of Europe’s biggest tour operators.

DER Touristik held its annual meeting with 150 Greek hoteliers and high-ranking officials from the local tourism market in Athens on Tuesday. In the context of the meeting, Rolf-Dieter Maltzahn, the tour operator’s CEO, told Kathimerini that bookings from the German market via DER Touristik are showing a decline of 25 percent.

Maltzahn attributed the drop to the negative publicity Greece gets on a daily basis in the German media due to the migration issue. This has dissuaded a number of Germans from booking their summer holidays in Greece. He added there are other issues that concern Germans about Greece, such as the capital controls.

Based on the data collected to date, the tour operator’s target for Greece now is to reach the same number of bookings as last year, hoping to see a spike in last-minute bookings. November and December showed a significant decrease, while January was roughly at the same level as last year. DER Touristik is aiming at an annual increase of 10 to 20 percent for Greece over the next few years.

Maltzahn expressed interest on behalf of the tour operator, which cooperates with 1,500 Greek hotels, in joint programs with the Greek state to promote the country in the German market. The future of Greek tourism, he noted, depends on the country achieving political and economic stability, and, at this stage, by tackling the issue of migration.