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Hotels on islands lose 7 million euro because of refugees

11 September 2015 / 18:09:37  GRReporter
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A reduced number of foreign tourists, cancelled bookings even for next season, layoffs in hotels, reduced prices of already-signed contracts, cancelled flights, conferences and berthing of cruise ships are just some of the consequences for the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea caused by the failure of the SYRIZA government to cope with the refugee and migrant wave.

The island of Kos, where over 1 million foreign tourists a year arrive by air, registered 170,000 cancelled bookings by agencies and private customers. As a result, the hotels on the island recorded losses of 7 million euro, which significantly exceed the losses reported by the other economic activities on the island.

The union of local hoteliers presented the data in a letter sent to caretaker Ministers of Finance and Economy George Chouliarakis and Nikos Christodoulakis. They state in it that this has been an unprecedented number of cancelled bookings since 1980, when statistical data for tourism on the island were collected for the first time.

Hoteliers note that this year many hotels will close one to three weeks earlier than in previous years. As a result, in September and October jobs will decrease by 30% compared to the same period of 2014.

Local tourist companies reported cancelled flights from Israel and Italy, a reduced number of cruise ships and of organized conferences, as well as a 60% decline in the pace of advance bookings for next year. The number of pre-bookings of tourists from the United Kingdom for 2016 has decreased by 60% as well, a good example being a luxury hotel that has reported 1,650 cancelled bookings for next summer.

Hoteliers from Kos appeal to both caretaker ministers to take measures to support tourism and offer the maintenance of the low VAT rate for the island until at least 2017 as one of them.

In the same vein, President of the Hellenic Hotel Federation Yiannis Retsos warns that unless urgent action is taken to resolve the problem, tourism in the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea is threatened with a total collapse in 2016. According to him, it is not excluded that its consequences may affect other tourist destinations in the country.

For its part, president of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises Andreas Andreadis stresses that a total catastrophe is threatening tourism on Lesvos, Chios, Kos and other islands with large refugee and migrant inflows.

Tags: EconomyTourismKosRefugees and immigrantsHotel bookings
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