Greece holiday bookings plunge by 30% amid debt crisis as prices slashed
- Last-minute bookings typically account for one-fifth of all reservations
- Bosses hope the debt crisis will end soon and the loss will be made up
- Tour operators have slashed their prices on last-minute holidays
Published: 11:42 GMT, 9 July 2015 | Updated: 13:55 GMT, 9 July 2015
Last-minute bookings at Greek resorts and hotels have plunged by nearly a third with the country on the brink of financial collapse.
Greece s tourism confederation has seen a 30 per cent drop in late bookings, which typically account for one-fifth of reservations.
Tourism bosses are hopeful the debt crisis will be resolved soon and resorts and hotels will see a bump in last-minute bookings to make up for the loss.
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Last-minute bookings typically account for one-fifth of reservations, according to Greek tourism bosses
Andreas Andreadis, chairman of the confederation, said: We believe that a swift conclusion to the Greek government’s negotiations with the country’s creditors would still give us sufficient time to make up for the loss as far as possible in last-minute bookings.
There is hope, however, that the impact on the vital tourist industry may be limited, as the decline comes at a time when most summer holidays are already booked.
In recent weeks tour operators have slashed their prices on last-minute holidays by as much as 50 per cent as they try to get rid of unsold rooms.
It appears holidaymakers are paying close attention to the events in Greece, with data from a number of online travel search engines providing conflicting reports amid the worsening crisis.
Travel website Opodo.de said flight bookings from Germany to Greece suddenly dropped off after June 26, when talks broke down between Greece and its eurozone creditors.
Between June 27 and July 6, daily flight bookings have been down most days by around 30-35 per cent from the previous year, with one day showing a decrease of 68 per cent.
Skyscanner said this week that interest from Britain and Spain had actually increased, as some European tourists were switching Discount Holidays © holiday plans to Greece from Tunisia following an attack on tourists there.
Tourists are also being lured by steep price cuts on package holidays.
Greece remains in economical crisis as banks stay closed
Visitors to Greece should take enough euros in cash to cover all their needs, in addition to credit or debit cards
UK tour operators have said they don t expect a Grexit to have an impact on existing bookings.
The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office are urging tourists to take enough euros in cash to cover all their needs, in addition to credit or debit cards.
The FCO said holidaymakers should be aware that banking services throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice .
While Greece s government limits ATM withdrawals by locals to ‘ 60 ( 43) per day, tourists can withdraw up to the banking system s limit as long as the ATM has sufficient funds.
With reports of a shortage of medical supplies in Greece, tourists should also ensure they have sufficient supplies, including prescription medicines, for the duration of their stay and any unforeseen delays, the FCO said.