Hoteliers on Crete recently expressed their surprise that major tour operators want to revise the 2009 holiday contracts and demand price reductions.
According to the Hotelier’s Association of Crete, as of last November tour operators have sent out letters to hoteliers in search of discounts.
If the hotels do not satisfy this demand the tour operators “threaten” that they will switch to cheaper countries.
The president of the Hoteliers Association of Chania, Nikos Korakas, confirmed that there is pressure on the hotel sector with the alleged reason of the global economic crisis.
Mr. Korakas stressed that representatives of tour operators have already visited Chania and are closing deals on contracts with prices much lower than the prices announced on the initial contracts.
“We think it is too early for these actions because with all the confusion and frustration on the market the delay of early bookings is justified,” said Mr. Korakas.
Similar is the reaction of hotel associations in the Ionian islands and Peloponissos as they recently urged their members not to give in to the “aggressive” pressures of large tour operators in regards to price reductions.
“We are in favor of targeted offers that will keep up the interest for Greece but we are opposed to widespread discounts that result in panic and lead to an overall reduction of already reduced prices, and therefore to disastrous results,” the associations concluded.
The president of the Hotelier’s Association of Zakynthos, Christina Tetradi, said that reservations to the Ionian Islands have dropped significantly -mainly by the British market- compared with 2007.
She mentioned that Corfu and Zakynthos had already seen airline booking reductions of 20 percent in mid-January.
As for hotel price reductions the president believes that hoteliers cannot and should not give cheaper prices. “We must keep these destinations at a high level,” said Ms. Tetradi.