ECONOMY

Sales of travel deals abroad decline

Sales of travel packages for destinations abroad during the Christmas and New Year period are down by an average of 20 percent from last year’s levels. Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) board member Lisandros Tsilidis told Kathimerini however that it is too early to draw final conclusions, estimating that the difference with last year’s figures will grow smaller closer to the holiday period. At this time last year, the drop-off from the previous period for trips abroad stood at 40 percent but was later trimmed to 25 percent. Tsilidis pointed out that prices this year are cheaper than last year’s levels. The average price per person for a trip to a European capital during the Christmas period amounts to about 500 euros for three to four nights. The cost per person goes up to 750 euros for a seven night trip. As for travel packages for trips within Greece, Tsilidis estimates that sales will remain at last year’s levels. The number of hotel beds on offer at popular winter destinations is quite low relative to annual demand levels, which in turn keeps occupancy rates high. The crisis, however, has taken a heavy toll on travel agents, which are likely to see a total drop in travel package sales for abroad and locally of 25 percent.