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Greece's latest tourism industry news by Greek Travel Pages (gtp)

Full House but No Cash in Hand for Greek Hoteliers, Online Bookings New Lifeline

UNWTO_hotel_1Greek hoteliers are now turning to foreign markets to ensure liquidity as banks are not offering financial backing and tour operators are minimizing and delaying advance payments, Greek financial daily Euro2day reports.

Greek hoteliers are now relying on early bookings (usually at discount rates) and online sales through online travel agents as well as timely downpayments by tour operators to keep their businesses running.

Pre-bookings usually run through to the end of February with hotel owners offering rooms at a 10-15 percent discount with a second period of sales until mid-April, which depends on the cash flow needs of each enterprise, Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) president George Tsakiris told Euro2day.

If pre-bookings are high, then hoteliers benefit from the incoming cash and can cover their needs allowing them in the meantime to negotiate on better terms with tour operators.

Hoteliers, however, who fail to secure a good number of pre-bookings have no cash flow to work with, making them vulnerable market players. At the same time, the unsteady economic and political situation in Greece is leaving the ground open for international tour operators to negotiate lower prices and delay down-payments based on the assumed “fear” of a potential Grexit.

According to the report, 523 accommodation units with a total capacity of 28,866 beds went out of business between 2010 and 2014.

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