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Global jihad in favour of Greek tourism

13 January 2016 / 15:01:52  GRReporter
4488 reads

Russian and French markets but primarily the attitude of Russian and French tourists towards travelling will largely determine the results of Greek tourism in 2016.

Yesterday's bombing in Istanbul, which killed foreign tourists (including Germans) confirms in a dramatic way that this year's tourist season will be influenced by a wide range of variables that will probably frequently change in the coming months, thus making forecasts impossible.

Factors in the tourism industry indicate that the markets of France and Russia will be a "barometer" of this year's summer. Moreover, it seems they are expected to act like interconnected vessels to some extent.

As the branch representatives explain, closing the markets of Turkey and Egypt for Russian nationals and Muslim destinations in the Mediterranean for French citizens is opening a large niche of potential customers for Greece. As they explain, this is because at the moment Greece is a priority destination for Russian and French tour operators seeking accommodation for their customers who cannot go to Turkey and other Muslim countries, destinations in the Mediterranean.

A leading factor in the market, which has close trade relations with the French market, describes before the size of this year's bet for Greek tourism and the ensuing practical difficulties. In his words, on the one hand, French tour operators really are quite active at present but on the other, French tourists seem to be "paralyzed" after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November.

According to the same source, a characteristic fact for example is that, compared to last year, French tour operators have increased by 20%-30% the number of beds they have reserved by contracts and the available airfares. Simultaneously, however, the bookings of French tourists who want to stay in Greece in the summer has fallen by 70% compared to the same period last year (January 2015). The same experienced specialist who is very well aware of the French market emphasizes that "there is a possibility of 400,000-500,000 more French tourists visiting Greece this year, who will not travel to the Muslim countries of the Mediterranean."

Here, however, Greek tourism is facing difficulties to take advantage of chances. As the same source indicates, there is a common demand for beds available in hotels in the Attica region and nearby areas, for example, but it is difficult to find such. The demand is aimed to use the flights scheduled to Athens airport Eleftherios Venizelos. As an alternative, hotels on major islands such as Corfu and Kos will be considered as well.

Branch professionals also explain that the number of Russian tourists that will visit Greece this year will largely determine how high the bar will be for Greek tourism on the French market. "It is clear that the beds that will not be provided to Russians will determine how many more French tourists we will attract this year," specifies a specialist.

Asked by a journalist as to whether there are actions that the Greek government needs to take soon to facilitate the arrival of more French tourists, the specialist replies, "Unfortunately no. It entirely depends on the choice of French tour operators combined with the number of beds and prices that Greek hotels will offer."

Tags: Greek tourismDevelopmentTerrorismTour operators
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