The August 15 Dormition of the Virgin Mary holiday is the peak season for Greek holidaymakers, but this year the number has dropped by 20%, and according to the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), despite the traffic this week, the damage to Greek tourism after the capital controls and bailout saga cannot be reversed.
The most popular domestic destinations for Greeks are primarily accessible by road and include Euboea, Pelion, Pieria, Chalkidiki and Lakonia, with interest being expressed for the Cyclades islands and just for the August 15 period. Following the capital controls and the ongoing bailout negotiations, as well as the negative talk of Greece exiting the Eurozone, Greeks’ habits have changed, with travelers cutting their holidays short, spending less and opting to stay with friends or relatives.
In the meantime, as Greek Travel Pages (Gtp) website reported, despite room rates in many destinations having remained steady and open to negotiation, demand has significantly dropped as demonstrated in the run-up to the August 15 holiday, with bookings slashed and interest at its lowest.
Confederation of Greek Enterprises for Rented Villas & Apartments (SEEDDE) President Konstantinos Brentanos told Greek newspaper Kathimerini that areas reliant on domestic tourism, such as Corfu, Rhodes and Crete, have seen a decline in room reservations, citing among others the operation of illegal accommodation facilities, which, he said, come to about 200,000. For 2016, Brentanos foresees a rise in room rates due to increasing taxation and other related levies.