According to German travel operator TUI, more than two million tourists from Great Britain are expected to arrive in Greece this summer. The Spanish Iberia Airlines is back in Athens, Sky Express has added new routes between Volos and Heraklion, Mykonos, Santorini and Mytilene and Transavia is increasing its available seats to Greece.
Even though numbers continue to break the record this year, hotel owners still face cash flow problems while Greece is expected to host about 20 million tourists, “most of which will arrive during the summer months until September, given that the big bet with Greek summer season has not been won yet for Greek tourism,” said the President of the Panhellenic Hotel Owners Union Yannis Retsos.
This is one of the main reasons for the huge rise in prices recorded in the recent period, although official sources insist “there is no discrimination between Greek and foreign tourists and the same applies for on-line reservations. On the contrary, a discrimination may occur with most of the rooms due to the hotel room pre-bookings by tour operators (this year increase in such packages was about 1.5 to 2 percent). From this point on, supply and demand determine the prices for the remaining rooms, while Mykonos and Santorini are established as luxurious travel destinations.”
However, even if the number of tourists continues to increase and the visitors stream towards Athens continues to flow, Greek hotels will need another three years before they get out of the “red” zone, due to accumulated financial damages.
Further investments in Athens, such as the new National Museum of Modern Art in former Fix factory, the renovation of the National Art Gallery and the Stavros Niarchos Central Park in Delta Falirou, will create new conditions to boost tourism in Athens.