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This winter’s party is in the Greek ski resorts

12 January 2016 / 20:01:20  GRReporter
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The tourist inflow to Greece’s most popular winter destinations during the holidays reached unprecedented levels compared to recent years. During both peak weekends, namely for Christmas and New Year, the beds occupancy rate was 100%, and adding visitors for a day to it, some resorts were really crowded.

"If it had begun to snow, there would have been nowhere to accommodate them!", a hotelier describes for the picture of mountain resorts on the peak days during the holidays.

However, if the snow was just the "icing on the cake" during the holidays, it is a key factor for bookings after them. Therefore, hotel owners in the mountains are now turning their eyes to the sky with hope, waiting for the white nights to revive frozen bookings.

Arachova: Hotels in the area were 100% full during the three days off for Christmas and the two days for New Year. There were 15,000 tourists there every day during this period, according to Yiannis Georgakos, chairman of the Union of Hoteliers.

In weekdays before and after Christmas and New Year, there were around 6,000 tourists per day. After the holidays, due to lack of snow on Mount Parnassus, 50% of beds were occupied on Friday, becoming 70% on Saturday. Weekday bookings are now covering only 20% of the available beds and therefore, there are offers at discounts. For example, a double room in a four star hotel costs 60 euro per night from Monday to Thursday.

Pelion: There was no room for even a needle to fall in Pelion on Christmas, as beds there were 100% occupied. On New Year's Eve, the beds occupancy rate declined but exceeded 85%, according to George Zafiris, chairman of the Association of Hoteliers in Magnesia.

However, many small hotel owners had difficulties immediately after Christmas when the holidaymakers departed. Now weekday bookings are not exceeding 20% of the available beds, reaching 50% during weekends. If it does not snow so that reservations "perk up", many small hotels and guest houses might prefer to remain closed (at least from Monday to Thursday) to reduce costs.

Kalavrita: "During the Christmas and New Year holidays, there was not a room available in the area, even for show," says Kostas Dafalias, chairman of the local union of hoteliers.

In those days, however, tourists in the area were not just 1,800, which is the number of beds available in accommodation establishments. In fact, the resort was crowded as tourists from the neighbouring areas of the Peloponnese and Athens arrived for one day. If anyone knew someone from Patras, most likely he could meet him in one of the restaurants in the area since almost the entire region of Achaia moved to Kalavrita during the Christmas and New Year weekends, in the words of local hoteliers.

After the holidays, the beds occupancy rate has dropped to 70%.

Ioannina-Zagorochoria: Hotels in Ioannina and Zagorochoria experienced the golden days of the past, where more than 75% of beds were filled for 15 days during the holidays. According to Kostas Vlachos, chairman of the Association of Hoteliers in Ioannina, a minimum of 30% of customers wanted to stay there for more than 4 and up to 6 nights.

A peculiar fact for the festive period is that the area attracted many large and small hotel owners from the most popular island summer destinations in the country.

Tags: Ski resortsGreeceBedsOccupancy rateHolidaysChristmasNew Year
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