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Tourism Season 2021- DW: Positive signs for Greek tourism

Moderate optimism for this year's tourist traffic from Germany to Greece, if the evolution of the pandemic allows it. Vaccination and movement protocols within the EU are critical factors.………

We are in a time when most Germans are planning their summer vacation, often choosing a beautiful destination in Greece.. but this year, in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic, things are quite different. How is tourism planned to develop in Greece, originating in Germany?; How it affects the evolution of the pandemic;

The German travel agents are relatively optimistic

They see it as a year of transition 2021 the big German tour operators, after last year's severe financial shocks. "We reacted with significant cost savings and liquidity. However, government loans are not gifts and will be repaid with interest. The demand for travel exists and with the health measures that have been introduced we want to emerge strong from the crisis ", said Vangelis Georgiou speaking to Deutsche Welle, International Market Manager TUI Group. It was a difficult year for the great German giant.

He is quite optimistic about the incoming tourism to Greece from Germany: "We will offer it 80% of the flights we had before the coronavirus crisis. We are again seeing a high demand for holiday travel in Greece. The country will once again be one of the most popular holiday destinations for TUI visitors this year. ", he says. In fact, he believes that this year's tourist wave, if conditions allow, will have bigger profits. "Tourists are ready to spend more on their travels. They have extra margins in their budget, are willing to make more expensive bookings and will take advantage of vouchers ".

"The longing for a relaxing holiday or an exciting journey has probably never been greater than this year.. Once the freedom of travel is given again, people will travel the world ", says Annika Hunkemoeller from the travel offers website in Germany urlaubsguru.de. In a recent poll conducted by the website among Instagram users, after Germany for domestic tourism Greece had high demand for this year both for its islands and for the hinterland, with a combination of tours and beach.

Favorite destinations are Crete, Corfu, Halkidiki, Kos but also the not so well known to the Germans Milos. "The treatment of the coronavirus pandemic in Greece last summer on arrival and on the spot was exemplary and the level of health protocols in hotels was high. The guests felt comfortable despite the difficult circumstances ", says that this will be possible this year if the epidemiological data allow.

The Greek hoteliers are waiting

The hotel industry in Greece recorded a decrease in revenue by 77% testing its endurance. Added to this was the problem of non-repayment of debts by German tour operators, with the problem being more acute with TUI. "Fortunately, we are in a de-escalation of the problem with the German company, after repaying part of its debts and promising to repay the balance in the spring ", explains the President of the Panhellenic Hoteliers Federation Grigoris Tassios. The financial problems of the pandemic brought changes in the collaborations with the German tour operators. New agreements extend partnerships even until 2023 and there is more flexibility in changing booking dates.

"In the new contracts, important terms were removed in relation to what we knew in the past, such as the reduction in the payment rate of early booking and the possibility of payment by agents up to 60 days after the customer leaves ", Mr. explains. Tasios. He considers March and May crucial for the development of this year's tourist traffic. "Europe vaccination data for Germany and the way of moving to the EU will mark the season. Until then we will wait in our handset. Of course, bookings from Germany are minimal, but in the searches, Greece claims the first place among potential German travelers for this year as well. ", says Mr.. Tasios.

Mass tourism is expected to be the dominant model for arrivals from Germany as well. "More charter flights and a hotel seat connected to a hotel bed. Next are the individual options and why not to strengthen the road tourism in our country from Germany ", observes Mr.. Tasios. "Last minute bookings are likely to increase which will increase overall profits,» Alexandros Efstathiou from the Dolphin Destination Management Group emphasizes. Common and permanent rules for summer travel as a prerequisite as he points out: "To avoid the phenomenon of confusion where and how everyone is allowed to travel and the terms to be agreed in advance".

DW

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