Easter holiday traffic down 20 pct

The number of travelers expected to visit some of the country’s popular holiday destinations this Easter break will be up to 20 percent less in comparison with last year. The number of visitors, who are normally local residents looking for a long-weekend getaway, is expected, in the best-case scenario, to remain at last year’s levels for some holiday spots, according to industry sources. Hotels on the Aegean islands of Myconos and Santorini can expect occupancy rates of around 60 percent for Easter, now that accommodation prices have fallen by up to 20 percent since last year. Most of the visitors currently on Myconos are US students, while charter flights to the island are expected to begin arriving at the start of May. The tourism industry in Halkidiki, northern Greece, is expected to have a somewhat busier Easter, with hotels preparing to operate at 70 percent capacity. Visitors to Halkidiki are expected to be a mix of Greeks, Bulgarians and Romanians. Hotels on the island of Cephalonia are likely to be full next weekend, with prices for a twin room ranging from 60 to 120 euros per night. The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) said earlier this week the number of tourists expected to visit Greece this year is likely to fall 20 percent from 2008 due to the global crisis in a drop that may slash tens of thousands of jobs in the vital industry.

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